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An Essay on the Principle of 

An Esscy on the Fnn^ipie of Fopulutson, (is s( 
Affci (he Fuiurt /mpnn eiftenf of Sot tely 
With Remurks w the Spei ulotiom if Mr CtHly^vt, 
M. Comlorcet unJ Other Writers 

Thomas Malthus 


PnotM iu J Jchttfcfi, III Sc Paul's Chutcb-Yard 


4 1 ^ eje(9Mk kholtfty Pt^im 

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Tin fb'ifTiWi" milk freOy<wloblg Ter or 

«i^6ViMl porfM^ proyid04iKiiiKJ$Mp)9if>( 
lAcluM 7V^ aorruMfi rru) ta ^ nfjuiril or /edltf^buiod lor 
<ciirMt<iol purposes Minooi pemuioit 

Table of contbjts 

PurALi................................ VH 

CHAFTeit 1 .-..-.-.-....-.-.-..-.-.-....-.-.-..-..1 

Qktsuoli ifMd • hnit flfcsptfT ^a WdniMffVjMt ^xffvM W 
A0r?fV of (ht cppcoi^ fMVTta * p/Tfvtpci 

ptfftfl4bttt(9 ^toci0fka 

of <hf onsoiifff>otpopftiatcji * Outlt^t ff W 

tht £ 90 / 

!%€ /BUo^n pfifhJ^or^ 0^4ft)o4 * The 

etetsior<^fftefsof thettiA[Je*tA\t noif^eof meftost • OutUohon 
fifcdiortd by A<4j M fhe eot^^S^on of the Sowt^ ctowi cf locttty • 

btds oi^ehon has /fot betn 90 hwA ohse^e 4 es eeghf 
b 9 apeci^ • Thftepfcpatuoos on fht fentrei e/^unem ^ 

Af £oe^ deptnds * The dtffteenf erotts te whieh montsod hne been 
to eeotfittfpftsed fc he mfk effertnee A fhae fheee 


Tie UTi'^geof toaetef erse sho/fif feineuod * The shepherdsieft, of 
the tnhef ^bofhortens fta ottfnm the ftofnan dnapate * 7^ 
npmon/v cf the pomer of pc^eiehon ie> ike ete^i (^Sittwience * 
Af e^oe tht grtoi ttdt ofSorthem Emapreoof^ 

Store of oinU^fd n^soes • TrobettStPv tket SMrope 4S tnaaek eacre 
popadoaa fIroQ tn the bote efJitbus Cbaor * desr enrenon 
popadekwt * Trobotte tffor of Heeae tn one the ertterToot thet he 
pfopoeer os osBtsf4ng 40 on tstmaott cfpopatt^fon Sto»^ 4neroue of 
poptdoAttBt ot praeof m most of tto stotts of tMT^^pe • The hvo 
pfine4pot ebeihi fopoptdotoo * Thefitst, orpmeetrye ehert 
esomned y*^h /e^ord fc Engitetd 

The iHond orpm4trtt eheek fopop4ti^oo eMononed, 4n £nghtod 
The tfoe coaoe why the imotertse soot cofieefoi to Engiotfdfoe the 
pros does 4^ hebef theaf «nA/>tn ^ The po^trfid tendency of the 
poor to defeat tketr ovm porpve • ho(UtM4rt of the Aetfetso of 
the poor proposed * The ^sof4de 4iepos4ba(4r^ from thefijsed i0H9 of 
oor n^trtt dtot the prestere of c^ be eoo^tefeit teeiaroed 

f^om W ^ MT/ffv * Mi iht tt7pop^^twi mst 

bt /99fity^ h^fc itiTidO Cf ¥Kt 

ccicmts • RfcsoivfW Wit nfitd UK^tcst • ^^cfOt Am^rrcai 
Cc^cf^a * &MfOfifddMrrv itvumct of r4 tAt h^fk mfdMtoNi 

MsfntiiJy ^(h Hiwb fftft ci^ srous (b4 nrmgti tmr. 

ptzMtBCt, /umU^, 4V Oft mfvWflOAt of MttTf 

0i4Af^TCIt ^ 

A pfob^t o^MSZ (^tpt^^us • Eirroeofrom Mr 
mMx • Ptfiodfc^ fftt/Tts c^iJClUv se^scfts (o bt eiptf/Ai nd cdFfa/n 
c^rr * ^ 6irAf tc b^n^s/orsttorf pe/Todi tfl or^ 

ccwtry or j^odt^oou trxttr^on of fht tool iorrtost of 

popoioPax * 3^sf tr^ItrTor of o poftt^^ro ttK/oof ofpopo^ior * 
Cftot fni^Ut* of oot of W ruosti of tbofonto^s <fCioro 
ord toJozfCA • f ftodtocr of oro ofthf oiooso lo Mt /VrV ^^or 
BtSt * Ootv Mf propff iwy of SKOit/opng popoi^ta^ * Coms^z tf W 
HoppMa t^nrMtooi * TotMf^, <kt ion mod modt &v 

wAich ooffnt f^f^rzrro ffdt^doro popitiofiot • TJftikrtt 
pfcposiUooi ^fwdorfd a rrwbfvhHf 

i4f Woti^rt • £rTOf ^zufpounp Mr tkt orwffroot 

popoioPwt noro frtoi dtiforct Mr Cffodorc^'s zbonb of 
pfOfrtzs of W buroot oood * btrTod wbrn fbt osciSiotfcr, otfMtof^ 
b< Mf CwMorott, r>uph< h) be eppbtd fc (be ktt^^ao hm 

Mr Co*M()roet *s rcr^reture (omermrut W orgoete pHfecobihft of 
MiO*i, end (be nMffiiHU proior^pehoo of htoooo Ufe * Foilecv ^(he 
orgoetem, trftnoo urbmitedpfogrtsrfrt)et epo/1^ 

ooprok'tsooM, (he 6iW of **iwh be oscerrotord (OMSito(ed tr 

ibe brtedt/^ ff eetd (he cMtnohon ofpfosez 


Mr streoi of epooii(\ * £rf^ orrrboiwip eO fbe vfoei of 

o^ot(tM MhArmor iAe(A(i((ton • Mr Oodwro'soosr^er to (he 
drffkfdr^ or\un^ frcro popeJMwn (o<MW trtm^rierd Mr Ood*^*s 
booudfi^i syitem tf e^oohty nppozed to be rtob^ed M u(ttr 
destrttertoo umpiffrooi theprvrcipit ofpoprdoooft m to ihcrt o ttsoe 
os thr/tt >Mri 

OlAPtClr 11 

Mr Oodr>or*i rrntteetore ooreersoof thtfiito/e tiboeocft of the 
posuoe befr>^etr( tht itses * lj(tie oppofeo( gnrordsfor ufcb o 


CCf^fCfM/9 * cfhtt W AW/ wifk WtW^ (V 

A^r ^tvfjecikft cf>^ct/7Vff tkt pfc^cft^tcft of 

htm^ao itft • to;pniptf droviotfrcfft W ff 4t0M/ 

st^t^^onh on ffv ^tn^/footf, ^^fvrfoi^ jo rarrMbt toifo/tro * 
Co^fc/ow nof /ow^o^ Off ofv jotivotffvti to Oftpogr fmt fo be 
ccost^fft^ USfi^tmcpheot eon^tftjtrts • i4r Ocid»io*s oodMr 
CcfMom(*r cfio^ture rapefttog Oft oppfooeh rf ouoi trr»^ords 
jnoovTotjty on tarth, e cunous otsronct of (he wcouitensf of 


^frf>r of Mf (wd"*^ n consfdenng mao too murit jn the bffrr ff o 
bffo^ Mtrefy nutonof * (o fhf competed bevtf* mon tftepoojtvo 
i»t// otwo^ ATT os &iu/butif(VTts JO 4ec4SJifOS of (he 

Modtfsroodtttf * Meoscoion <fMr Godt^jn fej Ott sntfeci ff eoerejco 
Soute fTU(hs of 0 rtoture oM to be cfjowmoocoled froot oot ooio to 

hdf G<^^»oo*ipff>pfMtons respertoti pobbcM fm(K co i^htek 
hts whoit rnTrt hngti, oot tsfoMtskai * fbeosens we ho^/fir 
suppvot^, ffom fht ^ifesi Aceostoned by tkepnnejpie of 
pnpt^oSttff^ (i^t ike inca ond otcroi weMutas ^moo eon ttm^r be 
wkoify erodteoted • Peffeevtfbf% to dte sense ot whtek hit 
uses tke fenK OM opphfobJe ffi otoo • M^jtre of tke roii perfeekbtkty 
of moo diuKrestd 

Models too perfect moy snotetdnes wtkef jmpede tkoe pfctnote 
of^roetment * Mr Godwin *s eooy oet *Atonee ond kfofusjon ' * 

c/dn^iSnp^ tke tteeesso/y ^ohour of o sncjerv aicaMv 
omofti oli •isti^eetties o^ost fobourtnfft p^odjtct pfetem eetl, ^(h 
Ittdf or no rkoott of peoAte>o% fu(ore ff>od • Ajt ocetsstoet to (he 
Mjoa of oinnd(ufot tokajtr nuot otwo<»s ht oo odostsoie to the 

^TfiboMe ertfif of OrA^om to rtprtsenMg e^ty tnereose of 
tho tmonoe or stock of o soettty ot oe ttnfeose to tkefiB^s/br (ht 
modftteoooee <f (tAour • tnooocts wkcfe oo tstcreott of weoUk cost 
ho^e /to (endencr to btntr the ron^non of dte iokojtnngpoor * 
E/tiitotd hos toereosed to tJcha wifkote o perpo/ltonof t/tereose jn 
the funds for tke mod/Heototee fohonr * The oote of the poor to 


w bt at n^rt^st of 

VMPltk l?**^.*.*..*.*.*.^.103 

Q^iUfn^ cf iAf pepper bffiMuof^ cf fht w^^ith c^d * ff^Aion 

|n M 6v Fr^iich tccficwisoff>f ccw^trji^ oti a 

^oNfu^n, nfiS tht trite ^eitra • The Wi^r cf crttfieen 
c/td c^a^tfceutrtfi su^Citm^ prcAtctr^ to if^viditoik iSfutfit 4^ 
tht stcAt * A rtctofbobif parent ut Dr Frict*t rwc vetf^wi of 
Otctr\'OUf»iS * LfTcr Dr Fthc r4 otifdteiH\% the t^pts\tu twtd 
reptdpcptd^te>r^ cf Aotrtiee, rhtffif, u> *tspretdicr stott 
nw^tpwm * h(f cdi^eiMpe rott hr eiprrtrdfrcct dmtttA^ mr evtt to 
the thffictdtet tc (he wer tc the impr me metif of wetety 


Tie cotutort prtsskre of dtrtros cn 4tM« fretn tht pr^r^pfe of 
pop^daJtw^ seeois to Pifeci oitr hepes (c the/tdure Srtrtt of tnoi 
Jtewtetrreot with ctn ^ieos cf tt^ fctehf^witd^t tf Ood • Tie nerkf, 
pfch^^e, 0 mjfhrt proceo for cv(efte^i^ tootter jho imnd • Theor* 
cf tht fcfmattct% tftdttd • £xoi g riw tsfrom the vtrpdt cf (he hrde * 
ExcttenefCsfroct the fperohen of fenetoi ^*19 * tMiter^rco fr^a 
the thff^odtset rf hft ertstri^freea (hepr^tetpte ofpcpitkitcr 

rb< toTTC^ t^hfe ntrtsserr (c tffte^ end tertMv the heon • The 
errMee^eri of tortei i^w^alrv rftret pe^d^trt rheratttt of c hifher 
cfder tt^ the there poae^ces cf toit/Ht * Merot a U prohohtx 
Atrtsiore to the pntdt^eftcet t^ttoroi eteeiiehct • BxrttttoetCsfroet 
jHeitertitei rceHtctmily kept hy the iofwtte y^tmety t^ntMure, 
end the chrekftmhei iwcher i^toph'eevth suhytrTs * The 
dtffindda te raetatfcn tc he ccectodedfor upon thtsprtete^pie • The 
dtgrte of e^^idehct nihch (he tenpLt/es ccthOdn, prohotty, best swtetf 
to the thaprtn muMscf the hh^enfeetdhts, ^4the /nctet 
esheritofeitwt of tnetduhd • The Me (hat eend a rreeted by 
eset(ee}^ts s ee m s io thooimsfor the eststenee ofneturet tmd etord 



Hw follosuAg Essay owes us lo a convasatioo wtih a friend, on 
(be subject of Mr Gciiwjn's essay on 'Avanee and Profusinn' a his 
Owiuuer Hu discusuon sotied du genaaJ quesuon of the future 
jmpeovesnent of society, and the Audior ai first sai down with an 
joienuoo of merely stating hi< thoughts to bis ftieed, upoo pepes. a a 
clearer manner dm he thought he could do in cooversation Bui as the 
subfetr opeiwd upcn him, soroe ideas occurred, which he did not 
retoJIeci to have nut wuh before: and as he cooctivcd ihat every least 
)igbt, on a topic so jencraJly mterestieg, might t* received wuh 
candour, hedetermioed lo put his thoughts a a form for pubiKauoe 

Hw Essay mighi. undoubtedly, have taen teedered much mve 
complete by a collecticn of a greaiet oucnbcr of facts lo clucidaiion of 
(be geseral argument But a long and almost total Aietruption from 
very particular business, joined to a desire (pertaps imprudmii of not 
delaying du publication much beyood the tAU that he crigAally 
propoad. prcveeicd the Auihtf from givsegto ibe subject an undivided 
anention He presumes, however, that the facts which be bas adduced 
will t< fouod to form no Aconsidetable cvideoce for du truth of his 
opinion respecting the future improvement of mjithiod. As du Auibor 
ccAtemplaies this opinion at present, linJe more appears lo him to be 
fwcessary than a plain siaicment, a adduen lo (be most cursory view 
of society, to estaUisb u. 

Cl IS afi obvious imib. which has been taken nctiee of by many 
wmers, ibat population must always be kepi dosvn to ibe level of the 
meafis of subsisieoce, but no writs ibat (be Author recollects bas 
lequired particularly loiodu means by which this level is effected and 
II II a vuw of these means which Cdrms, to bis mind, du sirongest 
obstacle a the way to any very great future impeovemant of society He 
hepes M will appear thai, le the discussion of this iniercstAg subject, be 
It xiuated solely by a love of (ruth, and oot by any prejudices against 
any particular set of mco, u of cpinions. He professes to have read 
some of (he speculauoes on the future utipeovement of society in a 
(cmper very different from a widi to find them visioeary, tut he has net 
acquired that conmand over his uoderstandAg which would enable 
turn to believe what be wishes, without evidence, or to refuse his assent 
to what mighi tc unploasAg, when accompanied with evideece 

Hie vuw which he has given of human life bas a melanduly hue, 
bui he feds coescious that he has tfcawn ihete daA lAts from a 
ccriviaion that they are really a the picture, aod not from a jaundiced 
eye or an Aherent spleeti of disposiiioo Hie (beery of mirwl which he 

h8« sixtcited A ibe )a<i dtspirts accDunu to lus owd uodnoandAg 
ici a stisfactoty cnanficr for ibe cxi^mco ol tnosi ol the cvila of lift, 
but wbeihcr n will have ibe stne rffrci upott odwrs muat t< Id) lo flte 
judgemertt ol l)i« readc* a 

If be iliouJd succeed in Rawing ibe aiteniicn ol more able men lo 
Mliai he conceives lo be ihc priocipal diffietjliy in the way to the 
jmpeovcincnt ol sociei; and diould, in consequence, see this difficult; 
removed, even io theory, he wiU gladly reuaci bis present cpinioos and 
ie]Oice in a ccnviaicn of bis etroc 

? June 1798 



QktsfiOii * Ufftt fifivptft e dffdr4jr4fffiOA u* M 

cf W portits * 7hf povj/v^ ^TfinW of9i^u W 

ptfftc^ib^Ut'f fi /naff c/ tfn^9 has btfs^ * 

f^<uf9 cf iht ttvw| p0piifAf4friQ * £)itfdffv ^ W 

tht Ea^f 

TKECUaT ani> unlooked PC* MscuvEBJES thai hsve laLflt plan of 
)atc yeafs io ttaural phiincfh;, itw incrcaaittg diffusion of jaaeto] 
knowlodjc from itu cxicrxicn of iIk an of priourtg, itu ardfni and 
ujuluclJcd spjtu of uwiuiry ihai prevail' Utrougboui ihe lerured and 
(veci unJcuctcd world, ibe new and ncaordnary Uflua ibai have teen 
(brown oo poliucal subjects which dazzle and asiooidt ihe 
(indcrsiandieig. and pancularly that neniendous phenomeeon jd (be 
pditKal licrizoo, (be ftendt Revolution, wbidu Uke a blazing ooitki, 
seetns destined ej(bet to insiuie with fredt Ufe and vigour, or (o sccreh 
up and destroy (he shrinking inhabiiaeitr of the earth, have all connined 
(o lead maciy able men into the opioion thai we were (ouchAg on a 
period big with the moat important chaeges, changer iba( would ut 
some measure be decisive of the future ^te of mankuvl 

ti has been said that the ^eat quesiicn is now at issue whether 
man shall henceforth start fersrards wi(b ^elerated velocity towards 
illimiiaUe, aod hitberto iioconoelved improvement cr be condemned to 
a perpetual oscillation between happiness and misery, and after every 
effort tertiaio still at an immeasisable dirtaoct from the wisbed*for 

Yet, aoxiously aa every friend of macikieid must loch forwards to 
(be tcntimaiicn of this painful suspense, and eagerly as die uiquiruig 
miod would had every ray of light (hat migbi aaaist us view into 
{Uturity, It IS much to be lameated that the wruers oo each side of this 
monientous qucsiioo sull keep ftr aloof from each oiber 'Hieir mutual 
arguftients do oot meet with a candid esaminaiioe Tbe (pestion is not 
brought 10 rest on fewer points, aodeven lO itwtfy scarcely seems to be 
appnsxbing to adecision 



T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS < 170S I 

Hk Advocaie fcr ihe p(«eiu order oi dungs i« ajM lo ircai (be <eta 
of sp<c(Jaiive phiiotcflwd; riUtrr as a at of anAJ and dcsigttiiig 
knaves talu preach up adeti( beoevolcttR and Asv* capuvaiAg 
pjcKtfes of a happier siaie of sooeiy ooly die bruer lo roablc (besn lo 
dawoy ibe prcwoi tstaUiiltniesus aod lo forward ibeir own deep-laid 
schemes of ambjuoo. or as wJd and tnad-he^d enthusiasts whose 
silly speculauons and absurd patatfcnes are cuV worthy (he aiusMjon of 
any reasonable man 

Ihe advocate for die paftctibjliiy of man, and of society, retorts 
on (be defeodet of csiablisbments a mve than equal ccsitempi He 
brands him is (he slave of tbe mosi miserable and narrow prejudices; u 
as (be defeodet of (be abuses of civil society only because he pn^is by 
(bem He paiois him cidus as a diaracict who promtutes his 
(indersiandiog (o lus iotetesi, ot as ooe whose powers of mind are not 
of a siae lo^asp any thuig ^cat and noble, who cannot see above five 
yards before bim, and who must (hetefbre be utterly unable to take ui 
tbe views of the enlighuawdtenefactot of tnankjnd. 

tn dus unamieablo contest the cause of truth cannot tau suffer. Tbe 
really good argtmients cei each aide of the question are not allowed to 
have ibeir proper weight Each pursues his own theory, little solicitous 
(0 correct or impeove it by an attenticA to what is advanced by his 

The friend of the present tfdtr of things etndemns all political 
speculations in ibe gross He will not even ctndcscend to examine the 
grounds freen which the perfectibiliry of society is inferred. Much leas 
will be give himself iha trouble in a fair and candid manner lo sncmpi 
an etpositjoo of (beu fallacy. 

The spettilativc philosopher equally offends against die cause of 
cudu With eyes fixed on a happier stale of society, the blessings of 
which he paints in the most eapuvaiing colours, he allows himself to 
indulge in die most bitter invecuves against every presem 
establishment without applying his talents to consider the best and 
safest means of removing abuses and without seeming to tc aware of 
(be oemendous obstacles; that threaten, even in theory, to oppose the 
progress of man towards p«tfcciion. 

ti IS an aefcnowledged truth a philosophy that a just theory will 
always tc confirmed by experiment Yet so much fiicucn, and so many 
minute circumstances occur in practice, which it is next to impossible 
fcr the most enlarged and penetrating mind to foresee, that on few 
subfetis can any (hetfy be prenouneed just, oO all the arguments 
against it have been maturely weighed and clearly and consistently 



Alt EifOv riH F‘upt'laiinn 


t h£v< read sorw of the epetubuciu oo the perfecubiliiy of man 
and of society «iih gnu plcaswe I have been warmed and ddighied 
with itw enebanufig pictise wbidi they hold forth. T aedenily Mth for 
uch happy improvements But I see great aod. lo my undtftiafidiog, 
unconquerable difficulues in ibe svay to (hem 'Iliew difficuJiies it is 
my pteaeni purpose lo aiaia, dedarutg, at the tame time, that to ^ 
from exuliiog in itwm. at a cause of inumph over die friends of 
looovaiioo, ncebiog would give me greater pleasure ihaci lo tee diem 
ccmplctely removed 

Hw most impurtani argumcM that I tbaJ) adduce it eenaiely not 
new Hie principlts oo whteb it depends have teen cxpbined in pan by 
Hume, and more at large by Dr Adam Smith li hat been advaoetd aod 
applied 10 the present subject, though not with us peoper sveigbt. or m 
tbe most forcible poiot of view, by Ur Wallace, and it may prcbably 
have been stated by many striiers that I have never met witb. I diouJd 
certainly ihacfore net think of advancing it agaio, though I mean to 
place n in a poioi of view in tome degree different Cron aoy that I have 
hiiberto seen, if ii had ever been fairly aod satisfactorily afitweted 

Hw cause of ibit neglect cn ibe pan of the advocates fer tbe 
ptrfecubiliiy of maoUod is oot easily accounted for I cannot doubt tbe 
talents of such men at Getiwin aod Condorcet I am isiwilliog to doubt 
tbeir candour. To my uodctttanding, and probably to ibai of most 
wbars, Ibe dfficuliy appears loHiamouniable. Yet those meo of 
aefcnowicdged ability aod peneirauoo seaecaly deign to nctioe it and 
hold cn flieir course ui such speculaiicAS Mih unabtud aedour and 
undiminishcd confidence I have canauily no ngbt to say that they 
purpMly shut their eyes to such argumeois I ougbi raibet to doubt the 
validity of them, when ocglecied by sucb meo, however forcibly their 
cuth may sinke my owo mtod Yet in this ra;9>ect it must be 
acfcnowledged that we are all of us loo prone to err If I saw a glass of 
wine repeatedly presented to a man, aod he took no notice of it. I 
should be apt to ibink that he was blind or uncivil A jusiar philosophy 
might teach me rather to ibink that my eyes deceived me and that the 
offer was not really wbat I cooceived it to be 

In etiieting up«fi the argument I must premise that I put out of the 
question, at prtseoi, all mete coojectures, that is, all supposmoos. the 
probable realization of which cannot be lefarred upon aoy |usi 
philosophical grounds A wine may tell me that be thinks man wiO 
ultimately become an uinch I cannot properly ooniradici him But 
before he can expect to bring any reasonable persoo over to lus opioion, 
he ougbi to shew that the necks of mankind have b*en gradually 
clongaung, that the lips have grown harder and more prommeoi ibai 
tbe legs aod feci are daJy altering their shape, and that the hair is 

Plro laiMed Ixl JoAa^n la&i Paul i 


T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS < 170S) 

beaming lo dtange into stutt of Seaihers. And (ill ibe probabjliiy of so 
wonderfjl a convcnicn cst be shcsvn, u ji uirel; losi ucne aod lo«i 
cloquenct lo npatiate on the happiJK(« of man jo locli a state, to 
ducrjlK lus pos«rs, both of Djoaing aod flying, lo paini liim jn a 
ccndiuco o^iete all nanov Iuxuiks would tc eooicmficd, where Ik 
would tc employed only in collecting ibe neccsBrias of Ufa. and 
wIkk. ccnsequeoOy, each man'e abate of latoui would tc light aod 
hia portKii of leiaise ample 

t (bink: I ma; fairl; cnaJia (t«o posiulata. 

First. Thai food la necuBr; to ibe exjsietice of man 
Setcndl;, Ihai (he peasum between (be sexea is oeceaaary and wiO 
remain nearly lO ica preaew «tate. 

UKae (WO laws, ever aince we bave bad aoy Knowledge of 
manbnd, appear to have beto fired laws of our natise, aod. as we have 
net hiiberto seen any alicraiioo in then, we have no right lo ccnclude 
(bat they will ever ceaa (o be whai they now are, wiihoui an imnediaic 
act of posver to that Befog wbo first arraoged (he system of the 
univerae, aod for (be advaniage of bis creatures, still eiecirtcs, 
according (o fiaed laws, all i(s various operations, 

I do not Oww that any wTiter has supposed that oo ibis eanb man 
will (Jumaiely be able to live wuhoui food Bui Mr Gedwin has 
ccA|<ciuied (bat the pus&ion between (he sexes nuy lo time be 
extinguished As, however, he calls this pan of bis wtfk a deviation 
loto the laod of coniccture, I will not dwell loeger upen it at present 
(ban to say ibai (he best argumeots for the pcrfsctibiliiy of man are 
Aawn &cnt a ccntemplauon of the great progress (bat be bas already 
made iron (he savage state and the difficuhy of saying where he is to 
Slop Bui towards (he enincuon of the passion between the seres, no 
progress whatever has hitherto been nade It appears to exjsi ui as 
much force ai ptescni as u dd two thousand or four thousand yean 
ago There are individual ercepuons now as there always bave been. 
But. as these ercepuons do not appear to inaoase in number, it wctild 
surely be a very (Aplulosophical mode of arguing to infer, merely froit 
(be exisunce of an exeeptioo. (bat (be crceptioo would, lo tune, 
become the rule, and (be rule the erctpiicn 

Assumiog then my potiulata as granted, I say. (bat (be power of 
populatioo IS lodefinitcly greattr than the power le the carih to produce 
subsmcnct fer man 

Population, when undwekad, iocteases ui a geomencal ratio 
SubusierKe inaeates only lO an anihmetical ratio A sli^i 
acQuaeuanct with ntutibers will shew ibe unmensiiy of (he first power 
ici comparison of the sceood. 

Eli need fgCHc«.xfu.v pueitsHiws 

rsuadinontofC IsiiuilCsnaick 

Alt Essay on F‘upt'laiinn 


By ih£t law nl oui naiore wludt nia}i£S; food necessary lo ibe )ife of 
met), ihc cHccts of ibese two unequal powets must be kepi equal 

Utis implies asocng and coosiaotl; opeiaucig check: on pcpuJstion 
fion the difficuhy of ubonencv lliis difhetiliy muci ^11 sonKwbcfe 
and musi necessarily be sevarel; fell by a large ptfiicn of tnanUod 
Ihrough ihe aiurnaJ and vegetable Ungdomii, nense baa fcaueted 
(be seeds of life abroad Mih (he most profuse and liberal baod Sbe bas 
beeo comparauvely sparing in the room and (he nourisbineot oeeessary 
(0 rear itwn) Ihc germs of exisicnce contained io this spot of earth, 
wiih ample food, and ample room (o eipand a, sucaJd fill miUioos of 
worlds ici the eourse of a few ihousand years Nccessiiy. (hat impeticais 
all pavaduig law of natise, restraios them Mthin ihe prescribed 
bounds The race of plan(s and (be race of anunals shnnk under this 
great restrictive law. And (be race of man cannot, by any effcris of 
reascTL escape from it Among plams aod animals us effects are waste 
of seed, sickness, and premanse deaib Anmig mankind, misery and 
vice Ihe former, misery, is an absolutely necessary ccnsequence of it 
Vice IS a highly proMble coosequenet. aod we iboefore see i( 
abundantly prevail tan it ought not. perhaps, (o be called an absoluiely 
necessary coonequenev Ihe tfdcal of vinue is to resist all temptation 

Ihis natural inequaluy of the tsvo powers of popuJauen and of 
produeticT) ui (be earth, ai^ (bat great law of our nature which must 
ccnstanily keep ibeir effects equal form the great difflcuhy ihai lo me 
appears insumtouniable io the way to (be perfectibility of society. All 
other arguments are of slight and subcidinate consideration in 
ccntparisoo of this I see eo way by which man cao escape Cram the 
wci^t of Ibis law which perv^es aJ animated nature No ^ncied 
equality, no agranan regubuens in iheu utmost nteni could remove 
(be pressure of it cvee for a single ceotury And ii appears, (berefere, to 
be decisive againsi the possible euncocc of a society, all the members 
of which should live a ease, happieass, aod comparauve leisure: end 
feel 00 aniiety about providing the means of subsineocc for 
(bemselvcs and bmilies 

CoosequenUy, if the premises are just, the argument is eooclusive 
agaiost (be perfectibility of the mass of mankiod 

t have (bus sketched (be gtneral outline of the argument. t*u T stall 
examioe u mere particularly, and I ihmk it will tc found that 
experience, the ime source and foundauert of ail knowledge, lOvariaUy 
ccAfimts ics (ruth. 

Pirp (iiMeC Ixl la b Paul i ClurA.YiM i 


AQ wktch prtp^Jottdn Vic^tcst * 7ht 

fffffts of fkfSt fOttOS of ifVftQSt * OsCitSotWt 

fifodattd by Amj m M< ^ tbe tcwtf cSoa^s ^too^ * 

ftteio^ why otc^Uftto^ hoA ^wv ^^9 so ^kch ctsfrytd ^ oo^ 
b« apoctod • Thrtt ptcpcsibofis oti wb%<b W ^ 

iho £m^ dfposidf: * Tht b^tttnS swts to ^drvA moofof^ te^Y bttK 
ib»49xii ^ atsf psopostb fo ht tsono^ y*^(h st/trstct fo thtst (hftt 

I &iJC> THAT tonJlATION. »HEN LMCHECKfilJ. ioCinMd A a 
£ccgn€irical rstto, sod subsituoM ta msn jn so srjihmetKsl ratio. 

119 (lanuite wbciha du< panitKii be jusc I ifiiot: ii wiU be 
slloutd, (hsi no asK has biiheno (listed (at leasi ihai we have an; 
account of) sihete the msooefs were so pure and Hinplc, and the meant; 
of Mibsistcect so atundani, that no check: wbaiever has eiistcd lo easl; 
marriages, anoog the lower classes, (ran a fear of nos prot'idAg well 
fer ibdr fannies, or sfixsig she hitter classes, from a (ear of lower^g 
(beif conduioo a life. Cooscqucml; lo no aute (bat we have yes k:nown 
has (be posver ol popolauon teen left to exert itself wish perfect 

Whetba the law o( mamage be insittifted or ooa, the dictate of 
nature and virtiK secnv to M an easly auadimeoi to cue woman 
SupposAg a liberty o( changing in the ease of ao uofortunste choice, 
(bis liberty would not affect p^fulatiesi till u arose to a height greatly 
vicious; and «c arc now supposing the existence of a society where 
vice IS scarcely known. 

tn a state (berefere of great equality aod virtue, where pure and 
simple rsDoers prevailed, and where the means of subsistence were so 
abundant that no part ol ibe society cotJd have any fsars about 
providing amply fa a family, the power of populatioo beAg left to 
exert itself unchecked, the inaeate of the humao qiecies would 
evidently be much greater than aoy increase that has been hitherto 

Alt Eifov rU) f‘uptilimnn 


[ft itu Unucd Stain o( Anwrica, sl4ki< ihc nuacis o( «uCi&j5i0Ke 
have bnt) more ample, ibe mannm of (be p<opk more pwe, and 
ccASMoefiiJy tbe checks lo early marnagn fevvei. than m aoy of the 
modem oatea of Eorofic, the populaiKit has tceo found lo double jiaelf 
le rweciiy-five yeais 

Utia ratio of locrease. (hough ihon of the iwtioat pov*n of 
pofMjIaiioe, yri as (he reaoU of actual ecpesKtict, v*e mII take as our 
rule, and say, thai populaticA, svhen unchecked, gees on doubling Kself 
every ivefuy>five years or increases lo ageontetrical raiio 

Let us now take aey sm of canh, dus Island for AS(ance, and see 
10 what ratio (be subsistence i( aSerds can M supposed (o lecrcase. We 
will tcgin Mib i( mder ns prevnt s(a(c of cultivaucn 

tf I aOow that by (be test possible policy, by breaking up more 
land aod by grcai encoungemeois to agriculture, the prcduce of this 
Island may be doubled in (be first rwcniy*five years, I ihmk n will be 
allowing as much as any persoo can well demand 

In (be nett twenty-five years, ii is impossible to suppose (bat (be 
produce could be <iua^p 1 cd li would t< cooiraryto all ois knowledge 
of the qualiun of land Tbe very uimoai (bat sue can conceive, is, (ba( 
(be Acrease m the seccstd iwenry-five years mighi c^ual the present 
produce Let us (ben (ake (bis for our rule, (hough certainly far beyood 
(be (nnh, and allow that by great exertion, (be whole product of (he 
Island might be mcrcased every tweruy-five years, by a quanuty 
subsistence equal to whai n at present produces. The most enihusiasiic 
speculator cannot suppose a greata increase ihaci (bis In a few 
ceciiiiries n would make every acre of land in (he Island like a garden 
Yet (bis ratio of mcrease is evideeily arithmetical 
h may be fairly said (berefbre. that (he meaos of subusience 
ificrease in an anihmencal ratio. us eow triog (be effects of these 
(WO ratios together 

The pcpulaticfi of (be Island is computed to be about seven 
milUoet, aod we will suppose (be present produce equal to the support 
of such a number. In (he first rwcniy-five years the populaucn wotJd be 
fourietn millions, and the foed being also doubled, (be means of 
subsistence would c^ual to this increaa In the nexi rweniy*fivc 
years the pcpulaucn would be twenty-eight miJ]ion& and the means of 
subsistence only equal lo the support of iweniy*crve millions hi (he 
nett pericd, (be population would be fifty'Six millicris, and the means 
of subsistence >us( sufficient for half tbai number And ai (he 
ccTKlusicn of the first century the population would be cne bunded 
and twelve millions and die means of saibsistmcc cnly equal in (be 
support of tbuiy*five millions, which would leave a population of 
seveeiy*t«ven millicns totally unprovided for 

Plm (aiMM Ixl JoAs^ laSi Paul iCkir^Ywd. Laotija. 


T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS < 1708) 

A grcu ctnigjaiioo nectManly implin isthappittcv o( some kjnd 
ot cdier A die counny diet is dnened For few persons will leave ihetr 
eocoecucfu, ^eods, and oaiive laod. to seek a setUeinetii a 
unified fbceigo climea, wiifioui sofiw sveng subfisucig eaiias of 
UMaMness wboe they are, cr the hope of some great advantages in the 
place 10 which ibey are going 

But to ma^ the argunvni more ganeral aod leas lOietAipicd by the 
pamal views of cnugraucA, let us take the whole earth, instead of one 
spot, aod suppose that the rcroaiott to populauoo were uoivettally 
removed. If die subsistence for mao ibai the eanh affords was to be 
locreased every iwenty>f)ve y«ars by a quaruity equal to wbai the whole 
world at present prcduces. diis would allow the power of pteduetten ui 
ibe earth to be absoluidy uolinuied, and us ratio of uicrease much 
greater than we can cooctivc that any possible excrtioos of mankuid 
could make ii 

Taking die poptilatioo of ihc svcrid at aoy oumber, a ibotisand 
millions, ftf losiance. die humao species wvuld Acrease a the ratio of 
• I 2,4,1 16,32, M, 128, 2S6. S12, etc and subaisteoc* as •• 1,2. 3. 
4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, etc In two eennsles aod a quanet, die peculation 
would be to ihc means of subsistence as 5 12 to 10' id diree ceoiuries as 
4096 to 13. sod in iwo thousand years the dfTercnec would M sltnost 
10 calculable, though the produce lo that tuna would have increased to 
an immeose extent 

No limus whatever are placed to the productions of ihc earth; they 
may increase for ever amJ be pcatcr ihao soy assignable quaotity. yet 
still the power of peculation being a power of a superior order, the 
locraase of the humao species can ooly be kept commcruisaie to the 
lecrease of the means of subusiesKC by the coosiant opetatioo of the 
streng law of netossiiy acting as a check upon the greater power 

Ihe effects of this check remaio now to be ccrtsidercd. 

Among plants and aoimals the vsew of the subject is sunplc They 
are all impelled by a powerful Astinet to the locrease of tbeir tpecies, 
and this Astioct is Aicmipted by oo reascrung cr doubts abcui 
providing for ihetr ofhpting Wictever therefore there is liberty, the 
powtr of Acrcase is eiertcd, and the superabundsni effects are 
repressed afterwards by want of room and oourishment which is 
common lo animals and plaots. and among snimals by b<ecming the 
prey of others 

Ihe effects of this check oo man arc nxre eompltcated Impelled 
to the inaease of his speaes by ao equally powerftJ instAci, reasiA 
loictrupis his career and asks him whether he may net brAg beiogs Ato 
the world for whom he cannot provide die means of subsistence In a 
state of equality, thts would be the simple questirio In the present sisie 


FWuUiiontoft IsiitfilCsnaio. 

Alt EifOv rU) f‘uptilannn 


of society, ether coostdersiiofis occur WJI he not lower his rank in 
lifls^ Will be not tubfcct bimalf (ogrcaiet diffinJim than he si penciu 
fiwla? WJ) be ooi tc obU^ed to Isbcu baadet? and if he has a large 
&cnil;. Mil bi« utmoai eienjooa oiaUe him u> «uppcri (bem^ May he 
no) see hi« oflaprin j lo rajs and misery, aod clanourinj {ot bread dial 
he caocioi give diem^ And nuy he not be reduced (o die graiing 
nectssiiy of forfejiiog bis mdependence, and ol being oUijed lo Ihe 
sparing hand of charily {or suppon^ 

Ihese conatderaiicAS are calculated u> prevent, and caiaioly do 
prevent a very greai number lo all civilized eaiioos from pursuing ihe 
dictate of oaiufe ui an early attachment lo one sueman And tbis 
renraiM almoai oacesaarily, (bougb nor absolutely so, produces vice 
Yet A all societies, even ibose that arc mosi vicious, the tertdeticy to a 
virtuous attachment is so soong ibai there is a cccuiant efldn towards 
an increase of populaticn This coostani efion as constantly tends to 
sub|ett tbe lower classes of the society to distress and lo prevent any 
great pctinaoeni aroehtfaiioo of tbeir condidoo. 

Ihe way in sshich these cflecis are prcduced seems to be tbis We 
will suppose die means of subsistence in any coueury )usi e^ual to Ihe 
easy supptft of ns mhabitaDis Ihe constant effdn towards population, 
which IS foued to act even lO the most vicious societies, inereasas the 
number of people before tbe meaes of subsistence are uicrcascd. The 
food iberefere ivtiich bcftfc supported seveo millioos must now be 
divided anteng seveo raillioos and a half or eight millions. Tbe potf 
consequently miisi live much worse, and many of them be reduc^ to 
severe distress. The number of labourers also being above the 
proponicn of tbe work in the market, the price of labour musi tend 
toward a decrease, while the price of provisions suouJd at the same iiroe 
tend to rise The labourer durefore must work harder to care tbe same 
as he did before Diving this season of distress, the discouragemeois to 
marriage, and tbe difficulty of rearing a family are so great that 
populatioo IS at a stand In the mcao time the cheapness of labour, tbe 
plenty of labourers, and the nceessiiy of an increased industry amengst 
them, encourage cuhivatcrs to employ more labour upon their land, to 
turn up fiesb soil, aod to manure and improve more compleidy wbat is 
abeadyio ullage, ull ultimately tbe means of subaisueict t«come in tbe 
same proponicn to die population as at the penod from wbieh we set 
out. The siniauon of the latoairer beiog thco again tolerably 
ccmlcriable. the restraints to population arc in some degree loosened, 
and the sante retrograde and progressive movements with rc^eci to 
happiness are repeated 

This scri of oscillation will not be remarked by superficial 
obaervers, and it may be difficult even for the mosi peoetraiieig miod to 

PIro laiMeC Ixl JoAii^ laSi haul sfkir^Ywd. Lootija. 


T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 4170S I 

calciJsu Its petiols. Yet (fiat jo a]) nU oates tcena <iKh vibrauofi don 
exix (hough fian variout uafisvette cauan, a a miKb lea< tmrkad. 
and jn a niudt more irregular manner ihan I have described ji, no 
reflecting man vvboeooaiders ihe subject deeply can well doutc 

Many reasons occtu svhy ihi< oacjllaiion ha< been lee obviois, and 
less decjdcdl; eonfinned b; npcnence, (han might oamrall; be 

One principal reason is ihji ibe bistories of maokiod ibai i«e 
poatest arc bietonet oely of tbe higher classes. We have but few 
accounts Dial can be depended open nf the mannas aod eusionu of that 
pan of manXjod ohete (baa rorogradc and peogressive movements 
chiefly take place. A sstis&ctory bistay of tbit kind, on one pccgilc. 
and oee paicd, svould refute the constaoi and minine aneoticn of 
an obsaviog mnd during a long life Sane of the objects of inquiry 
would tc. A what peoponion lo die Dumber of adultt wat ibe Dumber 
of marriages, to wlut exteot vieiout cttsiomt prevailed in cootequovee 
of Ibe rtsiraiDtt upoo mammeny, what was ibe eompaaove monahty 
among ihe ebildren of ibe most distressed pan of the communiiy and 
(bose «dio lived rather more ai the* ease, whai svere the vanaiioos in 
(be real price of labour, aod whai were (he etaervaUe differeocet in (be 
Slate of (ha lower elatses of society with respcci lo ease and happiness, 
at diiferent times during a ecnaiD period. 

Such a history would teod greaily lo elucidate the manna id which 
(be coDttani check upoo populauoo acts and would prctebly prove the 
existence of iha mo^a^ and progrcuive movemoKs that have teen 
mentioned, though ibe limes of (beir vibrations must Dccessanly be 
rrodeed irregular from (be operauoo of many imerngMiDg causes, such 
as (he iniroduciion or &ilure of certain maDu^aures, a greater a las 
prevalent quni of agnculmral enterprise, years of plenty, or years of 
scarcity, wars and pestilence, peer laws, (be Avcnticn of preenses for 
shorteemg labour without (be proporiiooal extension rif the market fa 
(be ccmmodiiy, and, paocularly, the diffaence bawceo (be ncmioal 
and real pnet of labour, a circusnsiance uhich has perhaps mere than 
any oiba contributed locoocaaJ this ^illaucn fron common view 

h very raely happens ihai ibe nominal price of labour iieivasally 
^lU, bail sue svell know that u frcqucoily remains ibe same, whJc (he 
ncmiDal price of pcovisioos bas Imn graduaOy incteasieg. This is, in 
effect, a real ^11 in the price of labour, aod during this paiod the 
ccndiuoo of the losver orders of (he commieiuy must pofeially grow 
worse and worse But the farmers and capitalises are growing rtdi freen 
(be real cheapness of labour 'nieir mcreased capiials oiable them to 
employ a greater number of men Work ibaefore may be plentiful, and 
(be price of labcur svculd consaiiKDily rux But the waoi of freedom in 


CovadsiiontofC laiitfUCenaio, 

Ajt Essay nn F‘uptiJimnn 


(be inart;ci of wbidi occurs mere or Ins in all ccnunuritter, 

cuher from paruli lews, cr ibe mote general ceiisc of ihe faciliiy of 
ccmbjneucn amoogihe neb, and ita difftculiy among die poot. opetain 
(0 ptevsAi die price of labour frem (ising a( die natutd period, aod 
keeps j( dosvn some time loeget, petitaps oil a year of acatcity, wlteti 
(be clamodr la loo loud and (be netvs&Ky loo apparent lo te tetisted. 

Hie (me cause of (he advaoct in the price of labour la dins 
ccncealed. and (be ndi affect (o gram it as an act of conpaasion and 
&vour 10 (be poot. in cooaidetaiion of a ^ar of scaraiy. aod. when 
plenty (etums, indulge ihemadvs a Uie moat (iwcascnable of all 
ccmplaAit dial ihc price does ooi again ftIL uturi a luUe le^eteioti 
would sliew them dial it must have riaen loeg before but from an ucijusi 
ccrispiracy of their owo. 

But (bough die iicb by un^ir conbinaiiona coeiribute fiequenOy lo 
prolcng a aeasoo of diaiiess atncrig (be poot. >et no possible form of 
aocirty could ptevent (he almost coosiaot aciioo of miaery upoo a great 
pan of mankiod. if in a state of ioc^ualMy, and iip«ri all. if all were 

Hie (beory on whidi (he truth of this posidoo depends appears to 
me so nireitiely clear that I feel ai a los to conjecture whai pai of u 
can be deoied 

Hiai population caoDOt ioctease without the moans of subsistence 
IS a propoMdoe so evident that i( needs no illustraucn 

Hiat populadoo dc«s invariably inaease where there ate die means 
of subsistence, die history of every people (hat have ever existed will 
abundanOy prove 

And dial (he superior p«suei of population canoot be cbccked 
wiihoui prcducing misery cr vice, (be ample peruen of ibem too bitier 
logtedieois lo die cup of human life and (he condouance of the physical 
causes ihai seem lo have produced them beat too coovioang a 

But. m order mote fully to ascertain (he validity of these tbiee 
ptopoutioos. lei us (famine the diiferent siaies in which mankind have 
beco isiown to exist. Eveo a cutscry review will, I dtiok. be sufficieni 
to convince (s diai these ptoposiiions are incootrovertiblc truths. 

Pirp (awseC (acl la & haul i CkurA.YiM i 


7i« soiTTff cf btiW' fVie i)icr'ly 4fwtd • Ttie MIe, or 

W MAof terMruw Itiei ovorran £a^ro > 7Tif 

(t^#nojTr> lift pot^tr of p<tpirieeoii to Mr ntofir of uiifulfi'ce • 
the f^ise tbt great tsde ofSortlt/Ti EmgraBoet 

in TKE KUDGST iTaTC OP biANUND, ici «hicti Itutiiifij 19 ihe pricicjpal 
occupnjofi, and die ottl; mode of scqurin^ food, die meaiu of 
wlxistettce tcing fcatieted over a large eueM of tenuory, flie 
ccmparstivc p«faJaiioo mun oecea^aril; be diin. Ii la raid ibai the 
passion tcisi'ecn ihe aiea ja leu ardeni arnoog the Ncrth Amerjcan 
Ittdiacia ihan among any other tact of meti Yet. norwjtbaiandjog Utit 
apaiby, dw effort towards pcpuJaiioti, even in ibis people, aecciu to be 
alwaya grcaiet iban ibe meant in support ji Tbit appears frem ibe 
ccmparatival; tapid population ihai takes place wbenevet any of the 
cibes liapptA to settle in some fertile spot and to draw nouiishment 
liom more frtuiful sources than dtat of hisMjog, sod M has teen 
lieqiienily lematked ibat when an Indian fanuly liaa taken up ns abode 
near any Europcao sctilemeni and adopted a more easy sod civilized 
mode of life, itet one woman has reared five, cr sit, u more chJdren, 
though io the savage slate n tarely happeos that above oee u two in a 
&mily grow up to maiurity. The same observation has been made with 
regard to die Hottentots near the Cape Tbasc ftets prove the superior 
power of populatioo lo ibe means of subsistence in naiicns of hunicrs, 
and that tbis power always shews nself the moment n is left to act with 

h lemaios to loputre whether this power cao be checked, aod its 
effects kept e^ual to the means of subsistence, without vice or misery 

Ihe North American Indians, coosidered as a people, cannot justly 
be caUed ftee and equal In aJ ibe aceoueus we have of them. aod. 
iodeed. of most other savage naitcns, ibe women are represeoicd as 
much mtfc ccmplctely to a stale of slavery to die men iban the potf are 
to tbe rich in civilised counSKS Ooc half die nation appears to act as 
Helces to the other half, and the misery that checks population ^lls 


Alt Eisav riH F‘uptilimnn 


citiefly, ai it always must do, upon that pan whose cooditicn e lo^vtsi 
ici ihe scale ol society The le^cy of man iii ibe simplest state lequires 
ccAsidersble aiteotiot). but this nectssary ancnuosi ibe sHunen cantMi 
gjve, ccewkmncd as ibey arc to the locosivcnieoccs and hardships of 
ftequcni change of place and to the constacn and iBwenutun j ikudgcty 
of peepanng every tbiog lor the reception of iheir lyrannie lords. These 
cxemoos, sceneiimes during pregnaeey or Mth children at dicir backts, 
nuisi cccaaion ftequeet miscarriages, and prcveoi any but the most 
toCassi in^is from growing to matunry Add to ibesc hardships of the 
women the constant war tbai prevails amcaig savages, asd the necessity 
which they ftequcotly btour under of exposing their aged asd bdples 
parents, and of thus violating tbc first feelings of natise, aod the picture 
will DOt appear very free from the blot of misery. In esitmaiing the 
happiness of a savage naiicA, we must not hi our tyti only cn tbe 
wanicr in the peune of life' he is ooe of a hiswhed' he is tbe gentleman, 
tbe man of fortune, the chances have been in bis favour and many 
efforts have biled ere dus fortunate being was prcduced. whose 
gtiardan genius should preserve bttn through the numtcries ttegers 
with which he would be surroisided from infancy to tnanhceid. Ihe true 
points of comparison betwcee two nations seem to be the ranXs lo each 
which appear nearest to answer to each other And le this view, I 
should compare the warrivs in tbe prime of life wiib the gentlemen, 
and the women. cbiUhen, and aged with the lower classes of Ihe 
ccmmuniiy in civilized nates. 

May wc not then fairly infer from this ahon review, or rather, &cm 
Ibe accounts that may be referred to of nations of hunters, that their 
populaiioo IS ibio from the scarcity of food, that ii would unmcdiaiely 
lecrease if food was m grcaiet pleoiy, and that putting vice out of the 
question amoog savages, misery u the check that represses the superior 
power of population and keeps its effects equal to the means of 
subsmenct Aciiial observation and experience tell us that this check, 
with a few local and temporary exceptions, is constaoily acting now 
upon all savage naitcru, and the ibeory indicates that it probably acted 
with nearly equal strength a thousand years ago, and it may not be 
much gtcaiet a ibousand yvars hence 

Of the manners aod habns that prevail among nations of shepherds, 
Ibe eext state of mankind, we are eveo mere igncraniihan of the savage 
Slate Bui that these naiioos could not escape the general lot of misery 
arising from the want of subsistmee, Eurepe, and all the fairest 
countries in the world, bear ample testimony Want was the goad that 
dove tbe Scyibian shepherds from ibeir naiive haunts, like so many 
bmidicd wolvas to searcb of prey Set to moiioo by this all powaiful 
cause, clouds of Bartnrians seemed to collect from alJ poiius of the 

Pirti (aiMeC Ixl la&i Paul sCkur^YiM i 

T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 4170S I 


ACfitKni Iiejnj9|)bet«. Gaibetiiij finb darWs* ae»d urrcr ai ih?y rollcti 
on, itw coogrcgaifd bodm ai In^ib obscund die sun of Tialy a5td sunk 
(be whole world in mvetsa] niflu. HieM (remendous effeetr. so loog 
and so desfsly fell dirou^oui the faiiest ponioos of Uie eanh. may be 
(raced 10 (be simple cause of (be supettcr power of pcpuJaticn lo (be 
meafis of subsisrenee 

h u well kfiowti dial a coumry lO pisdiie caonoi suppon so nuny 
lobabuanis as a eounc; a lillage, t*u w/bai reodets natioiu of 
shepherds so formidable is ihe power which diey possess of moving all 
(ogerher and (he oecessity (bey frequently fed of esening diis power in 
soaioh of fiesh pasiurc for (beir herds A uitc (bai was rich in caule had 
an immediate pleniyof food. Even die pareot stock might be devoured 
ici a case of absolute netessuy. Ihe women lived le neater case than 
among naucru of hmters. Ihe men bold a dietf united enengib and 
ccAftding in (beii power of procuring pasiure ki (beir caule by change 
of place, feh, prebeUy, but few fears ateau providing fes a famJy 
Ihese ccmbinad causes sooo ptodisced their naiural and invariable 
effect, ao extended population A mote frequent and lapsd chaoge of 
place became then oecessary. A Mdei aod mete exutuive terriiory was 
ssicceseitely occupted. A breoder desolation extended all aroistd them 
Warn pmebed (he less fonunate members of the sccKiy, and. at leogih, 
(be impoesibiliiy of suppontog such a number togetbet tecame too 
evident 10 be resisted. Youog scions were (hen pushed oui from (be 
parent'Stock aod AstriKied to ciplore fresh regions and to gam happier 
seals for (hemsxives by iheir swoeds 'The world was all before diem 
where to choose.' Restless from present distress, flushed Mtb the hope 
of fairer prospects, and animaied with the spin( of hardy cntesprisc. 
these datAg adventurers were bkely to become formdable adversaries 
to all who opposed them Ihe peaceful inhabitants of the countries on 
which they rushed could not long wiibstaod the energy of meo actuig 
under such powerful mouves of eierticA Aod when they fell in with 
any tribes like their own, ibe cooiesi was a struggle for existeoce. and 
(bey fought with a desperate courage, inspired by the rejecuen that 
deaib was the punishment of defeat and life the pnac of victtfy. 

In these savage centests many (ribes must have been utterly 
cxtermieatcd Some, probably, pctidicd by hardship and ^mine 
Others, whose leadAg star had given them a happier duection, became 
great and powerful tribes, aod. in (beu turns, sent ofF fresh adventurers 
ici search of suO moee fenila seats. 'The prodigious wasie of humao life 
occasioned by ibis perpetual struggle fer mom aod food was more (ban 
supplied by the mighty power of pcpulaiicn, actAg, a some degree. 
unshaclJed from the coosent habit of emi^auoo 'Ihe tribes (hat 
migrated towards ihc South, though they won these more fruitful 

ELimiCUff'&CHia.OU.V niBLeiHIWS 

rsviuUitontofC luiitfUCsnsio. 

Alt EifOV riH F‘uptilimnn 


tcgioof by coAtAual baiiln, tafMdIy jiKr«ased in number and povrt. 
from ihe iscteaMd mcana of «ub&j5i0K<. TiJ at lenfih (be v>tiole 
(etniory, from ihe confifief of Otina to ihc 4tcrea of the Baluc, was 
pec(>]cd by a vafious race of BaibanacK. brave, robust, and 
cntcrpti&jcig, loured lo haidfhip, aod deliginifig a suar. Some (fibs 
maifKaowd itwir indepeewkoce Others ranged (hemadves under (be 
standard of scene barbaric ditefiain who led them (o victory after 
victory, aod whai was of mve imponance, lo regions atounding a 
corn, wine, and oil, the long Msbed for coosummaiiai. aod great 
reward of their labours Ao AJanc, ao Auila. or a Ziogis Khan, and (he 
chiefi around them, might fight ftf glory, for (he fame of eitensive 
cenquests, but the tnie cause that s«t a moticA (be great ude of 
nenhem emigration, and that continued to propel it till ii rolled at 
differeet periods against Giina. Parau. Maly, and even Egypt, v>as a 
scarcity of food, a population eiteoded beyond the means of supponiog 

Ihe absolute populauoo at any cue period, in proportiai lo ibe 
exteoi of terntcry, could never be great, on account of the uoproductive 
nature of some of the regions cceupted: but (here appears to have teen 
a most rapid successioo of human bungs, and as ftst as some ivere 
nutved down by the scythe of war nr of ^mioe, others rose in 
ificrcased numbers to supply ihcir place Amcng these told and 
improvident Barbarians, populaiioo was protably but little checked, as 
le medem states, ftom a fear of future difficulties A prevailing hope of 
bettering ibur eooditicn by change of place, a constant espectaiicn of 
plunder, a power even, if distressed, of sellieg (beu ehildroi as slaves, 
added to the natural carelessness of the tartnric eharaeter, all coespired 
(o raise a popubiicn wbidi remained lo be repressed afterwarth By 
bmine or war 

^Miere there is any inepuaLty of conditicns, and amoog oatioos of 
shepherds this socn laJies place, ibe distress arisAg ftom a scareliy of 
provisioos must fall hardest upen the least fonuoaic members of the 
sociAy. This distress also must frepuentlyhavc been felt by the wemen, 
exposed to casual plunder ui the absence of their husbands, and subject 
(oconunual disappointments in their eipecicd return 

But without knowing enough of the muitite aod intimate history of 
(best people, lo poini out precisely ca whai part the distrrss for want of 
foed chirfly fell, aed to what extent it was generally fch. I thiok we 
may fauly say, ftom aJ the aceoueus that we have of naiicns of 
shepherds, ihai populaiion invanably locrnicd amoog them wbenrver, 
by emigration cr aoy <Mhcr eatuu. the means of subsistence were 
ificreased. and that a ftiiiher population was checked, and the actual 
populatioo kepi equal to the means of subsisieect. by misery and vice 

Pirn (aiMeC Ixl JoAa^ic lab Psul sClur^YiM i 


Thomas MaLTHUS < 170S) 

For, Hide pen detnly of any vicious ciuuuns (fiai migltt have 
ptevaJcd amongst ihcm Mth regard lo svcencn, Mliidt always cperaie 
»% dweka to pofwJauofi, ii miia be acOtowledgcd. I think, (hai the 
ccnunissKA ivar is vice, aed (he effect of ii loiMry, and none can 
doubt (he nuaety of want of food 

ELinacuf gCHca^oiLV pubibhiws 

FWaduioni of Olsiitf H Censick 


Svie of n\*Siit4 iwvxut ' Prob^tlwi ibai Ejtmpt n mtirii n^ft 
wta* Miff Iff dtt fittt <if /Mw Cmw • Bert enierroi 
• Probeb^e e/nv in cite fhe enfeiriVTi Maf be 

pfcpmei a cjuitmg iff an aireaue of /lyatiiinii • wteiMv of 
pcpkiaiiw ad preiatf w etctr vf Mr zmirz of Ekfcpe • Tlir oeo 
pneeipol <iVi*( w pcgniutcn • TiV /7'0, cf per^snne eivck 
rraffiiffTtf hUiK fegoM to EogiotiA 

tN EXAMINING TKE NEXT STATE Of MANUNO wuh relauot) 10 (be 
qdnsuofi before u<. the naie of mieed paaiurc and dilate, a taliich su(b 
some variaiicA io itw propomon* (be civilaed noiioos mun 
always remain. T>e shaU be as&isied in out review by wbai we daily see 
around us, byacuial expcfieoce, b; ^ets ibai cctnc witfiin (be scope of 
every man’s obsetvaiion 

Notwiihsidndjog ihc exaggetaiions of scene old lusicrians, duse 
can rcmaio no dceite in die mind of aoy ibioking mao ibai (he 
populoiioo of (be principal couniries (tf Eisope, Rancv, Englaod, 
German;, Russia. Mand Sweden, and Dcntnatk u much greaser iban 
ever u was ui former limes, 'The obvioos rcaaoo of ibese exaggeraiictis 
II the formidable aspect ihai even a dtiol; peopled nauon mus( bavc. 
wIkd collecKd logether and moving all at once in search of fresh seals. 
If u (his tremendous apfiearance t< added a successioo ai cenam 
ifiiervals of Similar cmigraiions. we shall nee be mueh surprised that (be 
fears of tbe timid naticAS of the Sou(b rcpresenied the North as a rcgicn 
absoluie); swarmmg wi(b bumao beings A oeara and jiis(ct view of 
(be sub}eci at ptescni enables us (o see dial dta uiferenec was as absurd 
a> if a mao in dus country, wtio was ccniuiuall; meeiing oo ihe roMi 
doves of caide from Wales and die Nor(b, was immedatel; lo 
ccTKlude dial these couones sucre (be mosi producuve of all die parts 
of (be kingdom 

Hk reascsi ihai die grea(er pan of Europe is mere populous now 
(ban it was in fermet limes, is dial (be industry of (be iobabi(ants bas 
made (hese countries produce a greater quantity of humao subsistence 



T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 417081 

Ptf I coAC«iv( ifiji u mey be laid doMi a p«siiioA noi lo be 
ccAirot'ened. itui, a «unkjet)t enent o4 itrruory to nclude 

wjihici It eAfKMtatKii and imponauoo, and allowing some vaiiaiioii lor 
(be prevaleece ol luiury, cr of Ihjpl habu^ that pc^ulaticn eoodafiil; 
bears a legular peoDcriicn (o the food ihai ihe earth la made lo produce 
tn the eoncovctay eoncefnmg the populouancu of ancient and tnokm 
nationa, could u be dearly ascetiained that the axerage product of the 
counmea in quenion, takteo aJiogeiber, la greater oow than it wa< in (be 
(imet of Juliua Caeaar, die dapote Muld be a( once deumnned. 

^Mien sue are aaaured thai Cbioa u the moai lenile eouiury a (he 
world, lhai almost all the land is in ullage, aod that a ^eai pan of u 
bears tsuo crops every year, and fisiher, that the people live very 
frugally sve may infer with ctnainiy (bat the population must be 
immense, wiibout buayAg ourselves in loquiries into the maancts and 
habits of (he losuer elassas and the mcouragemenu lo early marriajea 
But these A^uirtea are of tbe utmon impcrtaoce. and a minute birtoty 
of the cutionu of the losuer Chioese would be of die greaicsi use a 
ascertaioing in wbat manner the cheefca lo a further population operate: 
whai are the vices, and what are the dimesaes that prevent an increase 
of ntimbert beyond (be ability of the couosy lo stippcrt 

Htune, in hia assay on the popuJouseess of aoaant and mcekm 
nations, when he intermuigles, as he says, an inquiry concernmg causes 
with that concerning facts, does not seem to see with his usual 
penetration how very little some of the causes he alludes (o cculd 
enable bim lo form any judgement of ihe xtual population of aocient 
nations If any infercect can tc drawo fron them, perhaps n should be 
directly (he reverse of what Hume Aaws, though I caruuJy ought to 
speak with great diffidence id dissenting from a man who of all others 
on such suCgccts was the least liktdy lo be deceived by firse 
appearances. If I fuid that at a certain period in ancKni hisiory, the 
encourageuunts to have a family were greai, (bat early marriages were 
ccruequently very prevalent, aod thai few persoos remained single, I 
should Afer with cenainty (hat population was rapidly lecreasAg, tut 
by eo means ibai it was then actually very great, (athiri indeed, the 
ccrsirary, that it was thee ihio aod that Ihete was locm atvl food for a 
much greater number. On (be other haod. if I find that at this pericd (be 
difficulties attending a ^miJy were vrry great, that, consequently, few 
early marnages took place, and that a great number of tosh seaes 
rrmained stogie, I Afer with certainty that populancn was at a stand, 
and. probably, because tbe actual population was very girat in 
ptoponicA to the fanility of the land and that there was scarcely locm 
and fcod for mve The number of footmeo, bousemaids. aod other 
persoos remainAg unmarried id modem states. Hume aJows to be 

eLiCSkCUff'&CHia.OlLV niBlUHIWS 

rsvfuUoontofC IsiitfilCsnaio. 

Alt EifOv rU) f‘uptilannn 


taibet an ar^nvni agauui tlmr popolaiicn I should rather dra*' a 
ccAtrary jr/erenn and eooaider H an arfujnem of then fttlinna, though 
(bia tfifetence i« nca cenam, betauw there are man; (lunly inhabjicd 
siatca that are yet siaticnary lo (bair pooalation To speak, thrreftfe, 
ccrtecOy, perhaps ji may be satd that the dumber of mmarried pet sens 
Id propcrticA to the s*hde numt<r, exjsiing ai different peticds, in the 
some cr different siaics will enabk u« (r» judge ohetbar populattcn at 
(base periods sues ificreasmg, aiatioeary. or detteasAg, tan will form no 
cnietion by Mhidi we can detctmine die actual popaJouoo. 

Ihere is, howevei, a ciicumstanct taken notice ol in most ol the 
accounts we have of Chiiu that it seems difheuli lorecuicile with this 
leascAing. It is said ibai early marriages very generally prevail through 
all the tanks of tbe Giinese Yet Dr Adam Smith supposes that 
populotioo A China is stationary These twoeirciimstances appear to be 
irteccncilaWe h certainly seems vary little peoteble that the popubticn 
of Chma is fast idcreasAg Every acre of land has been so long in 
culuvatioo ihai we can hardy eooceive there is aoy great yearly 
addition to the average prcdtice. Ihc bet. pertapa, of the umvetsality 
of early mamages may not be sufficiently aseeriained If it be supposed 
true, the ooly way of accountiog for the difficulty, with our present 
knowledge trf the subject, appears to be that tbe redundant population, 
nectssarily oceauoned by tbe prevalcdce of early maniages, must be 
repressed by occasional ^minta, and by the custom of exposing 
childes, wbicJi. id tunes of distress, is probably more frequeoi iban is 
ever acknowledged to Europeans Relative lo this barbarous practice, it 
II difficult 10 avoid remarking, that thrre caoeoi be a stronger proof of 
tbe distresses that have been feh by mankuid for staoi of food, ihao the 
existence of a custom that thus violates the most natural principle of the 
human heart h appears to have been very general amoog adasnt 
nations, and cenamly tended rather to increase populaooo 

tn examinidg the pncicipal states of modern Europe, we ih Jl fuid 
that ihcugh ibey have idcreaBd very considerably in population since 
they were ciatjoes of shepherds, yet that at preseoi ibeir progress is but 
slow, astd inaead of doubling their numbers every rwediy*£lve years 
they rw^uire three or four buddred years, or mve, fer that purpose 
.^ome. icidecd. maybe absolutely siaiionary, aod others even rciio^ade 
Ihe cause of this slow progress a populancr cannot be traced to a 
decay of the passicA between tbe sexes We have sufScicoi reason to 
tbidk that this natural peopeosity exists suU a unduiunished vigour 
Why then do not us effects appear in a rapid idcreaa of the human 
specKS? An intimate view of the state of society in aoy ooe eouoiry in 
EiBope, which may serve equally for ail, wiU enable us to answer this 
question, and to say that a feresighi of the difficulties attending Ihe 

Pirn fwtMcC (acl Johnnie la Si Paul i 

T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 4170S I 


tnnttg of i famil; acts as a prcvcouvc check, acid ibe actua] dtiresse 
of tontc of die lover cIsma, by sshteb they arc disabled trom giving 
(be prefer food aod ancouen to ibeir duldrcrt, aci aa a positive cbcck lo 
(be oauiral inaeate of populaiioo. 

Digland. It cue of tbe most flourishAg UMta of Eskom, may be 
&irly lakcrt for an namfile, and (he obscr^aiioos made will apply su(h 
but linJc variaiioo (o aoy oUtet coufiiry vltrte (he populaitcii increases 

llw preventive cbeck appears to cgiarate in some degree (brodgh 
all (be ranks of soaeiy in England Hwre arc some mcA, even in (be 
highcM raok, vlio are prevented irem marrying by (he idea of ihe 
expanses (hai (be; must reveodi, and die fancied picasises (hai (he; 
must deprive themselves of, on (he suppositioo of baviog a ^mi)y 
Ihcse consideraticns are cenainly tnvial, but a preventive fotesigbi of 
(bis kind has objects of much greaier wcighi for its con(cnip]aiioo as we 
go losver 

A man oflibesal educaiKA. but wiib an income onJy pus ssifTiciefU 
(0 coable bicn to associate lo die rank of geoilcmcn, nuist fed 
absoluie); cesiain that if he nanies and bas a fanil; be diall be 
obliged, if he msaes at all in socie(;, lo raok bimtelf Mih modcsaie 
&rnicrs aod flie loves class of (radesmen Hie womao ihai a man of 
education svouJd naiuraO; make (he ob|«ci (tf hi< duMct would be one 
brought up in the same lasics aod senametKs with himself aod used to 
(be familiar Atercourse of a soacty loiaU; different from iha( lo which 
she must tc seduced by marriage. Can a man conant (o place (he 
object of bis affccticn in a situaucn so discosdaiM. probably, to her 
(astes and locunauoos? Two cr three Mcps of dcscen( lo society, 
panicularl; at this rouod of the ladder, where cducaiioo aids and 
igooranct begios, will not be considered by (be geeeraJit; of people as 
a faficicd and chunsricaL bu( a seal and essential enl. If society be bdd 
dtaisaUe, M surely must be free, equal and seciprocaJ society, wbere 
bcneCcs are conferred as wdl as received, and not sucb as (be 
dependent fiods with his patren or the pcos wi(b the rich 

Ihese considerations undoubtedly prevent a great number to this 
rank of life from following (he beat of (beir mclinaucAs a an early 
anachnvnt Others, guided cKber by a suongcr passicn, or a wcakar 
judgement, break through these rcsoaiets, and i( would be hard lodeed, 
if the gtaiificauon of so delightful a passioe as vinuous love, did ooi. 
sometitnes, more than couniabalance all its aneodant rvils But I fear m 
must be osunrd that (be more general conscqueoces of such marriages 
are ratbet calculated to jurii^ than to repress die forebodings of the 


rsvfuUiiontofl luiitfilCsnaio. 

Alt Eisav riH F‘uptilaiinn 

2 ) 

Hk 90a« o( ir»dntnn jnd farmers are exluned iwi (o marry, and 
jcttetally find it necereary to pur«ue itua sdvKS tiU itwy are aetikd in 
some buainesa or farm ihet may eruble ibem to auFfwi a ^mily. llieae 
cv«eia may not p4rtiap«. oceut uJI they are far Uvanced id life. IIm 
scaKity of farnu la a very geoeta] ccmplaini in Englaod And Ihe 
ccmpeiiuon in every kind ctl buaioesa is so ^eai that it is iwi possible 
(bai aJ) iluMildt* aiiccess&l 

Hw labourer mIio eami; eighteen peoce a day aod liver Mtb some 
degree of comfen as a single man, will hesnaie a liule before be 
divides ibai pifiaeict among fbui er five, Mbidi seems u> be bin |iisi 
snffieieni for one. Harder fare aod harder labour he svouJd submit lo ftf 
(be sake of liviog with (be tvomaji dut he loves, but he must fee) 
cceueioiis, if he thmks at aU, (tu( should he have a large family, and 
any ill luck whatever, no degree of fhjgaJiiy, no possible exenioo of his 
manual scength could preserve him from the heart-rending soisancei of 
seeing bis ebiUben starve, or of forfeiting bis indepcndeoce, and being 
obliged to (be paruh fot (heir s(4ipon Tbe love of uidependeoct is a 
sentunent that siaeJy none would Msb (o be erased from (be breast of 
man. ihou^ (be paridi law of Qigland. ii must be confessed, is a 
system of all others die most ealculaied gradually lo weaken (bis 
sentiment and lo the end may eradicate ii compleiely 

Hw setvanis who live in gendemen's Emilies have resiiainis ibat 
are yei stronger to break through in veniunng upon marriage Ihcy 
possess the nettssatias, aod eveo the comftftn of life, almost in as great 
plenty as iheir masters. Ihcir work is easy and ibeir food luxivtous 
ccenpared with ibe class of latourers And tbeir sense of dcpeodence is 
weakened by the conscious posuer of changing ibeir masters, if they 
fee) ibenualves offended iSus comftftably siiuatcd at present wbat 
arc dicu projects in marrytng? Widioui Qtowlcdge or capital, cither 
fer busmess, or farming, and unused and therefoee unable, to earn a 
subsisienca by daily labour, their only refuge seems to be a miserable 
alehouse, which cenamly offers no very enchanting prospect of a happy 
eveoifig to dicir lives By much the greats pan discfore, datened by 
tbis ininviiAg view of ihcu future situaucrt content themselves wiih 
remainiogsiogle wbse they are 

tf this sketeb of ibe stale of society in England be oear the iniib. 
and I do not ccsKeive that it u exaggerated, it will tc allowed dial the 
preventive check lo populatioo lo ibis country operates, though with 
varied force, through all ibe classes of ihc conmuoity Ihe same 
observaiioo will hold true with regard to all old states. Ihc effects, 
lodaed. of (base restramis upoo mamage se bui too conspicuous in (be 
ccASMuent vices that are produced in almost every pan of the sucrid. 

Pim (siMeC Ixl JoAatfn laS) Paul sClur^YiM i 


T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS < 170S) 

vices dial arc cootifiuall; iovolvjn^ boib wxas jn iocxiricsble 

ELinacMf &CHCI.OU.V publbhiws 



7h^ ttccfvt or chtft tc tMJfminrit 4n • 

7h^ tntt coMSt H^y fkt jiamvw um cdSfcftE for W 

poet AM ccAdtffCft * Thf p&*^fffAi f€nd€nrv of W 

pfiOf ^H7 to tE^tr enn purpoof PAHtAft^ of thf Msfrtifo of 
W poc^poopoood * Thf ohsoftdt mipriouEtOt*, f/wA fhtof 
MKT PfOi fkf pMSif^ of WOM COi bO OOAipitfti^f fftAO^td 

from Pro Sowt^ ^osffs of * All tht oirt^'ks ro poprdMM ow 

bt /osotyfoP mfo ouitry of ¥Kt 

Tk£ PnsiTtvecHecKTO MKiATiON. b; «bich I mean Ute ebecK ibai 
tepre^fee an ioctcaae wlticb la already teguo, ja eoofioed dtiefly, 
(bough not peshapa solely, lo the Itmesi ordcra of aocjeiy. 

Utis check i< not <o obvious to eocntnon view as ihe other I have 
menuoficd, and, to prove djaunealy the force and eitetn of iis cperaiion 
would requre. peihapa, mcee daia ihao sue are in p«sseaioo of But I 
believe it has teen vety generally rctnarked bythose who have anended 
(0 bOls of inceiality ibat of the outnber of chilAen who die anfiiiaJy. 
much too great a preporuon belongs to those wbo may te auppoa^ 
unable to give ihcir offtpring propet fMd and auctuioo. eipoaed as 
(bey are occasionally to severe diatteit aod cotifined, pahaps, to 
(Awholeacenc habitaiioca and batd bbour Hua monalty atneng (he 
chilAeo of ihc poor haa been eooatafiily taken niMice of in all towns li 
certainly doca oo( prevail in an equal degree io (be eouniry. but (be 
sub|ett haa oot hiiberto received auKcieoi aiteoucn lo enable anyone to 
say that there ate not mote deaiba io prepotuon among the ehilAeo of 
tbe poot, even in the counuy, than ameng those of the middliDg and 
highcf classes Indeed, it seems difficult to auppose tbai a labourer's 
wife who has sii chiJAeo. and wbo is someiimea a absoluie warn of 
bread, should be able always lo give them tbe food aod auention 
necessary to supptfi life 'Ihe sens and daughuss of peasants wJI not 
be found such rosy cherubs in teal life as (bey are deactibed to be in 
tomaoces It caoooa ^iJ lo be tematked by duM who live much in (he 
countiy thai the aooa of labourers ate vary apt to be stmud io (heir 


T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 4170S I 


powQi. and Jte a Icng «hi]e amviiij ai maiisiry. Boy^ ibai you would 
£ut&s; (o be lourieefi or fiftaeo af«, lequiry, frequctttly found lo be 
eighteen cr ciitteteet) And the latk srito <ftive plough, wtuch mun 
certamly be a healiby ei&rcjae, arc vary rarely seen tviih any 
appearance of calvea to ibeir legs' a circumaance which can cnly be 
aisitaucd u> a wacii either of proper or of sufficient nouriabmenc 

To remedy (be frodueni dmeaaea of the conenon people, the potf 
laws (tf England have been lesuuied: but it ja to t< feared, that though 
(bey may have alleviated a UiUe (be uiunsuy of individual nuafonune. 
(bey have apeead (he geoetal evil over a mudi larger surface li i< a 
subietr ofteo siarted a cooverranon aod menuoned always aa a matter 
of gica( aurpeise ibau ooiwiihrtanding (be iimnenre sum thai is 
annually colletred fer (he poor in Eogland. iberc is sull ao much 
disirass amoog them Some thmk iba( the mcney musi be embezzled, 
oabera iba( (he churcb*wardcns and overrears consume (be greater pan 
of II A diooers All agree ihai romebow or oiho M musi be very dl> 
managed In sheet the fed that nearly three millions are collacied 
annually fee die poor and yei that dicu discesses arc no( removed is (he 
subietr of continual anonishmenL Bui a man wbo sen a lude below 
(be aur&ct of ibings would be very much mote asionidied if the fact 
were oabetwise thao i( is observed (o be, cr even if a collecuoo 
universally of rigbiceo shillings ui the pound, losiead of four, were 
matanally to alter it I will sia(e a case which I hope will elucidate my 

Suppose that by a subsenpuen of (be rich the eighteen pence a day 
which men earn now was made up five shiJings. ii nuglu be imaguicd. 
parhaps, that (hey would then be able to live comfortably and have a 
piece of meat every day fer the* diooers. But (his would be a very false 
ccnclusicn Ihe transfer of three diillings and sixpence a day lo every 
latotder muld not increase the quantiiy of maai in (be coueury. Ihee 
IS nee at present enough for all to have a deeeeu diare What would (hen 
be the consequence^ Ihc compeiiuon among the buyers ui the market 
of nxat would rapidly raise due pnet from sixpence or scvcnpence, to 
(WO or three shilluigs in die pound, aod the commcdity would nee be 
(Lvided amoog many mve (ban it is at prcseni. When an article is 
scarce, aod cannot be disinbuted to alL he ihai can shew the most valid 
patetii. (he( is. he ihai offers most money, becomes ihe possessor If we 
can suppose the compeuuoo articng (be buyers of meatto ccniinuc long 
enough for a greater number of catde to b* reared annually, (his could 
only be done ai the expoose of the ccro, which would be a very 
disadvaotagous cxchaoge; for it is well Ouan ihai the councy could 
nee then support the same populaticn, aod when subsisieect is scarce m 
ptoptfiKA to the number of people, it is of linle consequcoct whether 

pt-srvsQiirytm»aLV niSLUHiwS 

rsvuUoontofC luiiaUCsnsio. 

Alt Eisav riH F‘uptiJimnn 


(be lowest membrif oi ihe sooei; pouesi; ojghierfi pence ot five 
slullingt 'nicy must et all events be reduced lo live upon die Itardcet 
&re aed jo dw atiaUest oiiaoiiry. 

ti will tc <ajd. pertiape, ibu ibe loneosed ounbet of purcluseie in 
every ssuele would fjve a spis lo productive lodussy and dial die 
wltde produce of die island would be locteosed 'nus might in some 
degree be the case Bui die s|>is that these ^oaed ricliea sucaJd give to 
populatioo would more than counterbalaoce it and ibe increased 
peoduce would te lo be divided ameng a more dian peoMrncnabl; 
locrcased outnber of people All this time I am supposiog dial the same 
quantity of work wotJd be dcsK as before But diis tvould ooi really 
take place, 'nie receipt of five shiJiegs a day. inaead of eighteen 
pence, would make every mao &ncy hunself comparauvely rich and 
able to lodulgc bimself in many hours or days of leisure 'This suould 
give a strcfig aod imtnediaie ebeck lo productive industry, and. in a 
short uma. not only the naiion would poorer, ten the lower classes 
(bemselves would t* much mere distressed than wheo they received 
only eighteen pence a day. 

A collcciion from die nch of eighteen shillings in die pound, even 
if disoibuted lo the most judicious manner, would have a luiU the same 
effeci as (hat resuloog fresn the suppositioo I have jun made, and no 
possible cooiiibuiions oe sacrifices of the rich, particularly in mcney. 
could for aoy lime prevent the recmence of distress ameng ihe lower 
members of socieiy. whoever dicy were Oeat changes mi^t lodeed. 
be made. 'Ihe nch might become poor, and seme of die p<or rich, tut a 
pan of the society must necessarily feci a difficulty of living, and this 
difficulty will naturally fall oe the least fortmaic members 

ti may at firsi appear strange, tut I believe it is true, thai I caonot 
by means of money raise a poor non and enable him to live much 
better than he did befere, wiihctit proportionably depressing ethers ui 
the same class. If I rcscndi the Quaouty of foed coosumed id my 
house, and give bim what I have cut off, I theo bcncfii him, without 
depressjog any but myself and family, wha perhaps, may tc well able 
to bear it If I turn up a piece of uncultivated land, and give him the 
produce, I iben benefit both huit and all the memters ihc society, 
because wbat he before ccnsuiiwd is (brown uurv the common stock, 
and probably seme of (he new peoduce with it Btu if I only give him 
nuney, stipposiog the produce of the couetry (o remain die same. I give 
him a (itle to a larger share of ihai produce (han formerly, which share 
he cannot receive wiiboui dunioishing (be shares of others. It is evident 
(bat (his cffeci. in individual lostaoces. must be so small as to be loially 
imperceptible: but rtiJI ii musi eiist. as mafiy (Mhcr effects do. which. 

Pim laiMee Ixl la&i Paul i 


T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 4170S I 

like some of die jesecit ifiai people tlw ajt, elude our ^tuser 

Supposing dw Quanifi; of food irt any couniry lo remaici (be <anie 
for many years (ogesber, u is evident ihai Ihia food muei be divided 
according to die value of exb man's patent, or tl>e sum of money tba( 
he can affisd to spend on ibis conmodity so universally lO lequen (Mr 
Godsuin calls ihe suealib ibai a mao receives ficen hia aoctsiors a 
Dttuldy patent ft may. I ibinkt. very properly be termed a paieni. but I 
hardly see (he propriety of callieg it a mouldy one. as M is an anicle ui 
such constant use > b is ademonsiraiive truth, dierefise, that ibe patents 
of one sat of men could nca be increased in value anihout dimioisliuig 
(be value of the paients of some other set of men If (be rich 'uerc to 
subscribe and give five shillings a day to five hundred ibousand men 
wiihoui tetrencbifig tbeir own tables, no douta can exist, ibat as these 
men would nansally live mere ai dtcir ease and consume a greater 
quantity of provisions, there would be less food remaisucig to divide 
among the rest, aod coniaquetiily each man's pasetu would be 
diminished in value or the same number of pieces of silver suould 
purchase a smaller quantuy of subsisieecz 

An increase of population without a proponicnal lecreasc of food 
will evideeily have the same effect in lowering (be value of each mao's 
patetii The food must necessarily be distributed lo cnallar Quaniiiics. 
and cenaqucoOy a day's labour stall piachase a smalls* quantity of 
provisioos. An increase in the price of provisicns would arise either 
from an loaease of populatioo ^rier iban (be means of subsisteoce. or 
from a different distiitauioo of the mooey of the society The food of a 
country that has been Icng occupied, if it be increasiog, mcreases 
slowly and regularly and cannot be made (o anssuer aoy sudden 
demaods, but vanaiions lo the distnbuiion of the mooey of a society are 
nc* lofrequendy occurruig, and arc uodoubtcdly among the causes ibat 
occasion the continual variauoos which we obsarve in the price of 

The poor laws of Eogland tend to depress the geoetal ccndiuon of 
(be poM 10 these two ways. Ihcir firei chvious tendency is to isKreasc 
populatioo without mcreasingihe food fu ns support. A poor man may 
marry wrtb liuJe ot no ptotpeci of bung able to support a &fDily in 
lOdcpeodflKC They may tc said therefore lo some measure to create 
(be poor which they maintain, and as the provisicru of ibe country 
must, in coosequence of the mcrcascd populatioo, tc distributed to 
every mao in smalle* proportions, it is evideoi that ibe labour of those 
who are ooi supported by parish assistance will purchase a smaller 
quantity of provisions than before and consequently mere of them must 
be driven toast fc* support 

etiCTacUf gCH<A.OlLV pUSltSHIWS 

FOouUiionioft luiioUCensio. 

Alt Eisav riH F‘uptilimnn 


Seccndl;, itw <iiiseuTy of provtsiciu; ccAsuined jo wrUiousn 
ujKMi a pan of du aocjci; tboi csoooi jn gauata] be cwaideted as flte 
moat valuable pan dmuoidtea the sliarts dui v>ould otherwise beloog 
10 more mduainous and mote wonby meintcra, aod thus in the same 
manner ftfces more (o become dependeoi If die poor a Ihe 
workhoo<«< s*ete u> )ive bcuer than ibe; now do. dua nc« dirsibtfiioti 
of the mciKy of the soctety would tend more caupicuoudy (o dcpresa 
(be cimduioo of those oiH of (he wtftbouaes by eceasieitAg a na a 
( be price of ptoviaioes. 

Ponueascl; for Qtgland. a spirit of lodepcndence suO remauia 
among (he pcasaniry Hie poot lawa ate airoogly calculated lo eradicaie 
(bis 9irii. Tliey have succeeded in pan, but had die; succeeded aa 
cctnpletely aa miglu have teen npoeted dieir pemicious icfidenc; 
would not have teen so loegeoocealed 

Hard as it may appear a individual innancrs. dcpeodeni poverty 
ouglu to tc held dsgraceful Sucb a aimulus seems to be ab^utely 
necessary (o promote (he happiness of (he great mass of mankind, aod 
every gensal attempt to weakeo dus stimuliis. howevet tcoevoicnt its 
appateet Aienuon, will always defeat its own purpose If meo are 
loduced to matry from a prospeti of parish provisicA. witb Utile cr no 
chance of maietaioing dteu families a lodepesdenee, they ate eoi only 
(A>(sdy (cmpaed to ttmg imhappioesa and dependence uptm 
(bemselves and diildree. but ibey ate teinpacd, wiihoift knowiog it to 
lojure all in the same daaa with themselves A labourer who mamea 
wiiboui t<Ag able to suppon a ^mily may a some respetia be 
ccrisidered as an enemy to all bis fCllow>labourcra. 

[ fed DO douta whatever dtat (he paridi lawa of England have 
cctiinbifted to miae (be price of provisions and lo lower the real price of 
latcaif Ihay have iberefore conuibuicd to impoveriab thai class of 
people whose only poasesajoo is their bbour Ii is also difficiilt to 
suppose dial dicy have not powerfully coonbuird (o generate that 
careleasoasa aod waoi of fiugaUiy observable amctig (be poor, so 
ccfitrary to the disposiuoo deqiuotly to be remarked among petty 
cadeamen aod small bmiets Ihe labouring poot. (o use a vulgar 
capresaioo, seem always to live from hajvl to mouib Iheu pteaesit 
waois employ their whole auennoo. aod they seldom ibiok of the 
future Bvee when they have an cppommiiy of saving they aeldon 
exercise ii. tui aO that is beyond their present neceaaiiiea gees, 
generally speaking, to (be ale>hO(isc Ihe poor laws of Eogland may 
(berefere be said to dimioish boib the power and the will to save amoog 
(be common people and (bus to weaken one of the siroogeai locanuvea 
(0 sobriety andindusiry, and dAsc^uenily lohappieeas. 

PIra (SIMM Ixl Joha^w lad haul vClur^YiM i 


T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 417081 

h A 2 «tieta] compliittt among mow mnufactara« ihJi high 
wsgCT Djici all th«ir wo'fcmafi, bui u la difftnih to conceive tbai iheae 
met) would not sve a pan of itutf bigh svagas for ibe fjue auppon of 
(beif ftcTuliea, outead of epeodjcig it in dnmkenneM and dieupaiion, if 
(bey did 001 rely on paruh aatKiance ki suppcrt in caae of accideent. 
And (hoi (be poor enjoyed lo tnanu^eturas contider ibis assistance as 
0 leasim wby they may 4pci)d oU ihe wages (hey earn and eojoy 
(bemselves sihile (hey can appears to to ev)den( from ihe dumber of 
Smiles (bat iip«*) (be dilute of aoy great manu^iory. unmcdioiely 
^11 upon the parish, when petbaps ibe wages earned id this 
manufactory while it flourished were sufflciendy above the pnet of 
cesnmon country labour (o have allowed diem to save enough for their 
support till ihey could fled seme other diaonel for iheir indusvy 

A man who might n(M be detened frem going lo (he alO'bouse frem 
(be consideratiod dtot oe his death, or siefcnesa, he should leave his wife 
and ^mily upen the parish might yet hesiiaie in thus dissipating his 
carnuigs if he ware assured ihau in eiihct of these cases, his family 
must starve or be left to the supfon of casual bouniy. fn Oiina. where 
(be real as well as nominal price of labour is vary low, sons are yci 
obliged by law losifport (bail aged and he^ess patenis. Whether such 
» law would be acMsabIc in this eoueiry I will dot pretend to 
determide But n saems ai ady rate hi^y improper, by positive 
idstnuuoos, wtud) redder depcndcdt poverty so general, lo weaken ibai 
disgract, wbieb ftf the test and mon humane reasons ought loanacb to 

Ihe mass of happirvess ameng ibe conmon people caddot t*u be 
diminuhed whed cew of (be siroogesi checks lo idleness and dissipaiion 
i> (bus removed, and when med are thus allised to marry with Uitla or 
no prospect of being able to maintain a family in indepevdeoco Every 
obstacle ui the way of marriage must undoubtedly be considered as a 
specKS of udbappuicss Bui as from the laws of cu oaiure some check 
(0 populaucn must ciisi, u is bcuct that ii diould be checLed from a 
feresighi of (be difficulties aoendog a ^mdy and the fear of depeodent 
poverty than (bai ii should be encouraged, only to be repressed 
afterwards by wadi addsicOvess 

ti should be remembered always (hat there is an essential 
differedcc between feed add (hose wrought commodiiies, die taw 
materials of which are in great pkdiy A demaed for these Iasi will noi 
&il to create (hem in as great a quanuiy as diay are wanted. Ihe 
demaod for food has by do meaes (he same creative power. In a 
coimiry where all the ferule speis have been seized, high offers are 
necessary to encciuage (be ^rmer lo lay his dressing on ladd ffon 
which he cannci cxpeti a prcfuablc letum fu some years Add before 


rsiiiuUiiontofC IsiitfilCsnaio, 

Alt EifOv riH F‘uptilaiinn 


(be p(o«peci of advaniage J9 sufTiaerttl; greai lo eeKoursge (lus son of 
sgncitJiiiral eiKctprise, and schdc (he oese produce is ruin^ great 
djsirasscs may t4 sufirted from the staoi of ii. Ihc demand for an 
increased <iiiafiti(y of subsistence is, Mth fesc exceptions, constant 
everywhere, ye< t*e see bos* slowly ii is anssKred in all those countries 
(bat have been Iciig occupied 

Hie poor laws of Engiand were undoubtedly inaituud ftf the most 
benevoknt purpose, t*u ttiere is greai reason to think (bat they have not 
succeeded in tbeu intcnucii Ihey cotaiiJy nuugaie some cases of very 
severe distress wbidi ttuglK cdierwise occur, yet (he state of tbe poor 
wlio are supported by parulies, ccnsidered in all its circumstances, is 
very fir from being dec ficeit nusary But one of tbe principal 
objections to them is tbai for this assistance which some of the poor 
receive, m naif almost a doubtful blessing, the whole class of the 
cenunon people of England is subjected to a set of grating, 
inccAvenient. and tyrannical laws. totaJy inconsssteni with die genuine 
spirii of theconstitiHion. Ihc whole tusiness of senlcmenis. even in its 
present amended state, is urtarly contiadicioey to all ideas of freedom 
Ihe parish persecution of men whose families are likely to become 
chargeable, and of potf women wbo ate near lying*in, is a most 
disgraceful and disgustuig tyranny. And tbe obstiuceions coniinually 
occasioned in the market of btoiir by these laws have a consiani 
tendency to add to tbe difftculirts of those who are struggling to 
support themselves without assistaoct 

Ihese evils aiicn^nt on tbe pocr laws are in some degree 
irremediable If assistance be to be distributed in a canain clas of 
pacple, a power must tc given somewhere of disctiminaiing tbe peoper 
objects and of managing tbe cerKems of the insuiutions ibai ate 
necessary, tut any great mterference with tbe afbirs of other people is 
a species of (yraony, and in the common coura of thmgs the exercise 
of this posuer may be expected to become grating to those who are 
ikiven to ask ftf suppen Hie tyranny of Justices. Cbiirch*wardcns, and 
Overseers, is a common complamt among die poor, tui the fault docs 
nca he so much in these persons, who peobeUy, before they were in 
power, were not wtfse than oaber pecplc, but in the nanse of all such 

Ihe evil IS pertaps gerw too br to be lemedied. bui I feel hole 
doubt 10 my own mind that if the peut laws had never erlsied. though 
tbere might have been a few more inaances of very severe distress, yet 
tbai the aggregate mass of happiness amoog the common people would 
have toen much greaict iban n is ai preant 

Mr Put's Poor Bill has tbe appearance of tcing framed suuh 
bencvokni intesiions, and tbe clamour raised against k was in many 

Pim (viMeC Ixf JoAa^ic la&i Paul vCkurA YiM i 


T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 4170S I 

tnpecit Jl dirrcud, acid uciNasooablt But it inuM be ctmfefted that n 
p09«es9es in a higb dejNC the greai and radical defeca of all «yMcnu of 
(be Uod, Uui of tending lo ncrcaae populaiicn wiibout loceea&ing (he 
meacie ter ua suppon, aodihisio depend the cmdiuoo of dune (bai ate 
IK* «upDC(ted b; paaidwe. and, coosequenOy, lo create mote poci. 

To remove (be (vama ol die lowtt claase) of tociety la indeed an 
arduoiK (aat. Tbe mjth la diat the preaaure of ditire» cn diia pan of a 
cctiuiuAiiy la an evil «o deeply aa(ed ihai no humao ingenuKy can 
teaeb ii Wse I lo propose a palliauve, and palliaiivea are all diat (he 
nature of die case mII aiftiut. it should t<. ici itw first plaec ihe mal 
abdiiioo of all the pceseiu patish'laws 'Hiis avould at any rate give 
libetty afid decdom of aciuw to (be peasaoiry of England, whieh dicy 
can batdly be said lo pones at preaent wcaJd dun be able to 
se(de Mihoifi intemipuon, wherever there wa< a peospcct of a peater 
plenty of work: and a bighet price for labcau. Tbe market of labour 
would thee fret, and ihoae obataclea lenuved wbicK as ihinga ate 
now, often fot a ecnaidcrable time prevent (be price ftom using 
according (0 the demafid 

Setcndly, ptemiunu might te giveo for tivnmg up fredi land, and 
II possible encouragements held out lo agncuhure above manufacturer, 
and (0 tillage above graiiog. Every endeavour diould be used to 
wcaJien and destroy all (bore lortitutionr relaucig to corpotauoer, 
appreniiccrhipr. eie.. which cause (be labours of agriculture to tc svorse 
paid (ban the lat«iut< of trade aod maou^ciures For a country can 
never prcducc us proKt quantity of food while these dimncucns 
remain m ^vour of amsans. Such cfKouragenuMs to agriculture svould 
tend to funurh the market with an increasieig quantity of healthy tvork. 
and ai the same tuna, by augmetiong die produce of the couniry, would 
raise (he comparadve price of latour and amelicraie the condition of 
(be labourer Being now in better cucumstaocus. aed seeing eo prospect 
of parish assistance, he would be mote able, as well as mere UKluied. 
to enter uuo asscciaiioni for providiog against (be sickoess of himself 
ot &faily. 

Lastly, for cases of eiireme dstress, county workhouses nughi be 
established, suppcried by rates upoo the whole kingdcm. aod tree ftf 
ptrsoos of all counties, and lodeed of all naiioos Hk fait should be 
hard, and those that svere able obliged to tvork li svould be desirable 
(bat they should not te considered as comfonable asylums m all 
difSculues, but merely as places where severe distress might find some 
alleviaiscA A pan of these houixs might be separated, u others buih 
fer a most bcrwficial purpose, which has net beeo infrequendy taken 
nctict of, that of providing a place where any per sen. whether oaiive or 
fereignar, might do a day's work at all times and receite (he marfcet 

etiCTacUf &CH<A.OU.V pUSltSHIWS 

fsvuUiiontofC luiieUCensio. 

Ajt Essay nn F‘upti!imnn 


price Ice it Mjn; caM« sivaJd uodnubiedly be left for (fie exenicn of 
ifidivtdoal benevolence. 

A plen of ihii Uod. ifie ptelmunary of wfildi dwaJd be an 
sbdjiioo of aO ifie present pandt b(*9. Menu lo be the toe calculaied 
(o lAcrcue (he mau of hapfMneee amoeg the common people of 
Qtgland To prcvcoi itw rccunetice of miMry, is. alasi teyond ihe 
power of man In the vaio (fwkavout to auaio wliat in the naiise of 
(fiiege je impoesible, sie now sacrifice noi only possible bui eenain 
benefits \Ve leU (fie common people ihai if (hey will subnui lo a code 
of t>eannjcal Kgulaiions. itwy sfiall nevee be in wool Ihey do subrnn 
(0 Ihc9e regulauona. lliey peeform (ficif pen of ilic cofiiract bot we do 
not eay cannot perform ouit and thus the poor saoiAce the valuable 
UeMiOg of liberty aod receive nothing (hai can be called an efluvalou 
ifi return 

Moiwiihsisndjeg, then, (fie inauiuuon of ifie p<or laws in Engbod. 
t itunX It will be allowed ihai considerjog the state of the low<r claaacs 
ahogcitwi, both in die towns and io the couoiry. the distresses wfiieh 
(ficy suffer from die waot of proper and sufficieen food, from hard 
laboKtf and unwliolcscmc habiiaiions, must eperate as a eonsiaen dieek 
to ineipieni population. 

To these two great efieekts lo populaucst io all loog occupied 
ccunnies, wfiich I have called (he preventive and (he positive efieckts, 
may be added vicious eustoms with respocs lo women, great cities, 
(Awholescmc manufactures, liuury, pestilence, aod war. 

All tfiese cfiecks may be &irly resolved into misery and vice. And 
(fiat these arc the true causes of (he slow increase of population in aO 
(fic stales of modern Europe, will appear sufScicoily evident from the 
ccmparaiivrly rapid uicrcasr that has Avariably takten place wheoever 
tfiese causes fiavc baco a any considerable degree removed 

Pirp (awseC (acl la b Paul i Ckurd.YiM i 


fVw feii9ief Hfitionf for thpr r^i^a rv'MW • //ivM Amenean 
Cc*ciiia • Ennurtftaurr tvta/tee nf Jter^iee Jt ibe batk setilemefi’i 
l^udirv »V<6 tifrfn* fvet ofO lUKs recoitr tbe vmgei niAr, 
pnnlenct, <v eft; rnnvfaMc w; 

tr 4AS KEEN UNtVGfiSaLLY K£makk&1j itiat aJ nn« <;olcAi«« anicd m 
healihy couoirjn, \«hete (bare was plsuy of room and food, luve 
ccAsianil; ittcroaad wjib astottiahjci^tapjdty it* dieu pcfuJation. Some 
of itw colooin fiom afiactn Greece, io oo veiy loiij period, mere than 
c^ualied dicir paieiii aiaies iii outnbeta and esrogih Acid ik* to dwcU 
on remote uuaancn, (be Edfoceatt acniesnema io the new wtfld bear 
ample (eaumooy loihe iruih of a lenurt:, wluclt. mdecd, has oever, iba( 
I know of. beto deaitaed A pltrtry of (ieli land, to be had foe liole or 
iKduog, v so p«s«rfjl a cause of pofulaiion as lo ovetcome aU other 
obstacles. No senJemeots could well have torn worse inaoa^ed than 
(bose of Spam io Mnico, Peru, and (^lo. Hie tyranoy. supersuuon. 
and vtcea (tf the moiher-couoiry were mnodueed m ample qiaotiues 
among ber children Exerbitant taxes sverc exacted by the Ciown Ihe 
most arbmary lasrjctjoos were imposed cn iheir oade And ibe 
governors were not tchind band in rapacity and extortjon ftf 
(bemselves as weJ) at ihcr master Yet, uods aU (best diflietdtjes, (be 
coJcrtics made a Quick progress in pcpuJaiioo. Ihe city of Lima, 
fcamded siect (he conpoesi, is (eptesen(ed by Ullce at containing fifty 
(bousand inhabitants (tear iifiy years ago. (^lo. which had been but a 
hamlet of Indians, is represented by die sante auibor as in his ome 
CQuaJly populous Mexico is said to eootain a buodred (hoosand 
lobabuants, which, ootwnhstandmg the exsggtrauoos (tf the Sjnniili 
WTiiars, IS supposed lo be five times greater iban what M ccntained m 
(be lime of Mooiesuma 

(n (he Ponuguese eolooy of Braal. governed wi(b almosi equa] 
tyraooy. (bete were supposed to tc. (tuny years smee, sit hundred 
(bousand inhabiianis of European ex(ractioo 


Alt Eisav riH F‘uptilaiinn 


Hk Dutcb and Raficlt colonic«. though istdcr the govtmmettt of 
exclusive comMAjea of mercltafiM. \*tijch. aa Dr Adam Snuih aaya very 
juatly, i« die sver^t of aJI poejble goveterniefiu, aull paaieied ui 
(hrivieigiswkr evcey diaadvaniage 

But the English Nordi American colooiea, oov Ihe pwtrhtl 
pocple of ibe Uniud Suies of Ajnenca, made by far the moei rapid 
ptogrea. To the plefiiy of good land ahich they iq common 

wiib (be Spaniih aed Ptfiugueac (ettlefiMCiti. ibey added a greater 
degree of Ubeny aod equality HMUgh oot wnhout arvne rasirutiofu on 
(beir foreign coiunerce, ibey v^ere allowed a perfect libcny of 
nunagiDg dicir own istiareal affairs Hie p«]itK^ insututtons (hai 
prevailed were &voural4e lo die alieoaunn and diviajoo of propeny 
laoda (hai vete nca culiivaied by tbe proprictcr wiibio a linnted unie 
were declared graoiable lo any other person In Pennsylvania there waa 
no right of pnmogeeutise, and in die provinces of New England (he 
eldest bad ooly a double share Ihere svere no iithes jn any of the 
Statea. and scarcely aoy tasea. And on account of (be extrenie 
cheapness of good land a eapMal could not be more advantageously 
employed (ben in agneuliure, which ai (be seme nine (hai n supplies ibe 
greatest quantity of healthy werk aSerds much die most valuable 
produce 10 die society. 

Hw coosequenee of ihese favourable cireumsiaoces tmued sues a 
rapidity of inereaae probably wuhoui parallel in hisicry 'niroughoui all 
(be nerthem colonies, (he population waa found to double itself ui 
(weniy>f)ve yeara. Hie original ounber of persoos who had sertlcd in 
(be lour provinces of oew Eogland lO 1643 was 21,200(1 lake these 
figures frent Di Rice's two volumea of Obacrvaiiona: not haviog Dr 
Styles' pamphlet, frem which he quotes, by tne.) Afterwards, it is 
auppoaed ihai mve left them than sveot to them In the year 1760, they 
were increased to half a millicn Hicy had therefore aO along doubled 
(heir owo number in iwetuy'five yeara In New Jersey the period of 
doubling appeared to be tweniy-iwo yearsi aod in Rhode isbnd still 
leas. In the back aetdementa, where the inhabitanis applied ibemaelvea 
solely to agiKuhise, and luiury was not known, they were fouod to 
double their owo number in fiftaeti years, a moai extraordinary inaance 
of increase Aloeg (be sea ccest, which would oaturally be first 
lobabued, (be period of doubling was abcait thirty^five years: and ui 
some of the maritime lowos. (be populaiicn was absolutely at a stand 

(In instances of ibis kind the powers of the eanb appear to be fully 
equal to answer ii the demaoda (u food that can be made upon u By 
man Bui we should be led uito ao arrer if we were dicncc to suppose 
(bai population aod food ever really inaeasc in (be same ratio. Hk one 
IS anil a gecmetrical aod the other an arithmetical ratio, that is, one 

Plrw (SIMM (acl Jotvi^ la Si Paul i CkirA.Ywd. Lowtijs. 

T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 4170S I 


ificrssn by tnuluplicaijoo, asd (fie other by sdditKii ^Mwr< ihete are 
ft*' pcofile. and a gi«» ^uaotiry of fenile land, ihe p«s(cr nl ihe earth 
(0 afftfd a yearly ittcteasc of food may t< compared lo a great reservoir 
of (*ater, s(4>plied by a moderate atreani. Hie fasin pcfxiJaiion 
jocreasea, die mote fieJp mII be gee (o draw off ifie water, and 
ccfUMoeniJy an ittcreaaieg <iuafitiTy wtll be taken every year But (fie 
5000er. undtebtedly. will the resavotr be eehauried, aind the meanu 
onJyremaA When acre fias been added lo acre, (jII aJ) the ferule lacMd ii 
occupied, the yearly increase of food su)) depend upoo the amelioraticn 
of (fie laod already in poeseraicn; and even (fii< moderate stream will be 
giaduaUy dimini^ng. Bin populaiicn. could it be supplied with food, 
would go on with iioexhaurted vigour, aod the locscase of one period 
would fumiili the power of a greaier locreare the next, and this wnhout 
any limit i 

Ihere facia teem to shew ifiat populaucn increases exactly in the 
proptfiicn (fiat the two greal dietks to ii. mimry aod vice, are removed, 
and ihai there is not a truer criterion of the happioesa and umoceece of 
» people than the rapidiiy of iheir increase ITic unwfiolnomeneB of 
towoa, 10 ivtudi some pertont are necessarily tbiven frem ifie nanse of 
tfieir trades, mun be considered as a species of misery, and every the 
slightesi chaefc lo marriage, from a peupect of tfie difficulty of 
mainiaiAicig a family, may be fairly classed under the same head In 
short ii IS difficult to cooceive any check to pcpulation which does nee 
ceme under the description of some species of misery or vice. 

Ihe populaiKii of ifie (fiinetn Amencan States betoe (he war was 
reckened at about three millions NoboJy imagines that Oeat Bnisio is 
less populous at preseoi for the emigration of the small parent stock 
(fiat produced these numbers Oo ifie conoary, a ctnaio degree of 
cmigraiicn is known to be favourable lo the population of the mother 
country li has bean parucuJarly remarked that (fie iwo Spanish 
provinces from whicfi the greaiesi number of people emigrated to 
America, became in consc^iMnce mare populous Whatever was tfie 
original number of British emi^anis that increased so fasi in the North 
Amcncan Coloeies, lei us ask, why docs oot an epual number produce 
an equal inacase ui the same lime in Grcai Briiaio? Ihc great and 
obvious cause to be a&aigncd is tfie waet of room and foerL or. in other 
words, misery, and ifiai this is a much more posuerful cause even than 
vica appears sufficiently evident from (fie rapidny wiifi which even old 
slates recover the desolations of war, pestileoce, or the accideets of 
nature Ihcy are dun iu a sfiort time placed a little in the siiuauon of 
new states, and the effect is always answerable lo what might be 
expected If (he industry of the mhabitanis be not destroyed by fear or 
tyraeey. subsistence will socn inaoase beyond the waois of the reduced 

eLimtcdff'&CHra.oiLv nieieiHiws 

rsuadiiiontofC laiiuilCenaio. 

Ajt Essay an F‘u/ntlannn 


nmnbctH, and ibe ifivanable couMWfice mII be ibu pofuiaiion ntiich 
before, pobapa, v>as ttrail; suticiiary, sviU t*gin immediately to 

Ute fenik pfovjAce of Flandcti tkluch has tceo «o ofien ihe seal 
of ibe most desoiKtive tvars, after a rtspiu of a fc* yeata, has appeared 
always aa fruiihil and aa popoloua as ever. Even ibe Pa)aiieaie )ihed up 
III bead again after the eaccrabk ravages of t^is ihe Fourteenth. The 
effects of the ^ftcadful plagire in Lendon io I66ft 'vere not perctpiible 
fifteen or it*enty years afterwards. Hic traces of the most desimcuve 
Amines io China and Indosian arc by all xcounis very soon 
oUiteraied It may even tc doubled Mfieiher Turkey and Bgypi are 
upon an average itnieb less populous ftf ibe plagues ibat pcticdically 
)ay tbent nasie If ihc number of people Mftich they eoniaio be kss now 
iban fomierly, it is, probably, rather lo be attiibuicd to the tyranny and 
oppressKA of ihc goternmeot leider wbieh they groan, and ibe 
ccASMoent discouragemenis to agriculiure, flian to the loss which ihey 
sustain by ibe plague The mosi irernendous eoovulsions of naiure. sueh 
»% volcamc empiicAs aod earthquakes, if ibey do nee happen so 
ftequcnily as to iktve away die iobabiiania, u lo destroy itwir splrii of 
lodusiry. have but a mfling effect on flic average populaiioo of any 
Slate Naples, and itw counuy under Vesuvius, are sull very populous, 
ncawiihsiandiog the repeated enipeions of tbai mouniaio And Lisbon 
and Uma are oow. probably, nearly in the same state with regard to 
populatioo as they were before ihe last earthquakes. 

Pirp |aw"ee Ixl la & Paul i CkurA.YiM > 


<4 pWichSt nmst EjSt^o from Mr Si/om^lr'i 

ioMtr rttun^s sfckf'< rt^rtwu tc be erpecifd nt ctneut 

ceser * ^tpcruofl ej fr/riri b7 bfu^r /fir it^crf ptf^fi^ trt er^ 
ccfB^try ^ cnfe/i/vf ef the feet e>^ofe incrtest c/ 

pop^dat^of * ^sf tr^ttf^fif^ cf 4 per me r e s^t itvreose ^ popt^Stoe 
Gftot /i nj^ tjy c/ U\ ont f>/1^ dft /enJ^s ^ C4>w 

eifd • £>d tef^dtf^r of cf M ciousti to Mr focr 

BxU * OeK of^ propff kvy cf ^cfut/opnppop^d^tcn • Cbttfo <f tho 
HcppMa cf ooAtcrv: • foeone, ifre tost dreo^ei o*<ide 

which f^uee reprcisci e rriturdri'^ popoici%pi% * Tht ih/et 
pfcpatucoi nnfldertd a esiobtfshed 

By cuat ATTeNTiQN TO CLEANLiNESi. the plyue ««enu ai kn^ to 
be completely expelled ftom Londoei Bui u it not impeoteble tbai 
among the teccndaiy eauw thu prcatucc even sicKly seasons and 
cpideiDKs oogbt to be tanked a crowded popolaiioo and udwholcaotae 
and ifisutTicieni food. I have been led to this remark, b; looking over 
some of ibe table of Mt Saeumdeh. which Dr Price he extracted in 
one of Ills notes lo the postscript on the controvesy rnpeciing the 
populaiioo of Eogland jsid Wale The; are coosideed e very correct, 
and if siKh laUn were genera], they would throw great )igbt on the 
diifeieet ways by which population is repressed and prevented from 
lecreasoig beyood the means of subsistence in any country. I will 
anract a part of the tables, with Dr Price's tenurks 

itaiicKirKKHcmiLSSiA *JioDtixEECircrLmii.s;oA 


tapftLk W 


UlWlIv l ?«2 




IS4b l(Xl 





IB4b l(Xl 





M4b m 

nab IW M m* • vnika rw«e .Tr StI.taS .t IW aMiaj ^ iA r«My 
Mlalt!«M l?)?,rsk>v.0<YaM »<rtae iM aorar' 


Ajt Essay nti F‘upti!aiinn 


h may tc rnnartcd, (fiat ihegmust jMopvnion ofbjtihs; to twial*. 
ws« in the five years after the great pesuSmee 

DirwY a Powki vj> 

Pnpfton W 






1 llii 

« to IP 

MPb l(Xl 



fP to IP 

t77w l(Xl 




fP to IP 

ISPb l(Xl 



43 to IP 

13Tb l(X 

bito mmm to b 

Ifc n tobtoJ torU to 

toAtotoV M 

ntov ItoJ toiog if^wxatoAJ lb ifCf^to<, bi^btos itomLAlv 

^ IM 1 •diy Ito to baM mfr b ^ 

ISM ' 

L ji 1 W 1 ptdnblc that in this case ibe munbo of lObabiiaMs bad 
jocreswd fasin than ihe food and the acccnunodaiions necassary to 
ptnervo them a beahh' The mass of the people sKuld, upoo this 
suppoeiticn, be obliged (o Uve harder, aod a greaier numter a«uld be 
crowded together io cne house, aod ji is not sisely impeobable ihoi 
(best were artioog itw natisal causer that prcduced ihe three ricktly 
years TTiesc causes may produce sucb an effect, Uiougb the country, 
absolutely ccnsidered, may nor be cmcjncly crowded and populcus In 
a eoueirycven thinly inhabited, if an iocrease of populatioo lahc pbet. 
before more feod is raised, and more houses are buih. the inhaCatanis 
must be distressed m some degree for room and subusiesKe Were the 
marriages in Ecgland. for the ooxi eight ce tea years, lo be mere 
peolifick: iban usual, or even were a grcaier Dumber of tnarriages than 
usual 10 take place, supposing the number of houses to temaA tbc 
same. Astcad of hve or sii to a eonage, there must be seven u eight, 
and tbis, added to the oecessity of harder Uvieg. would probably bave a 
very unfavourable effect oo the health of tbe commoo people 

Keumsuc* BaiatosNti'aoH 









^ to IP 

iS^b l(Xl 




P3to IP 

iPib l(Xl 




43 to IP 

UlW l(Xl 

T| ^ II to bsi J to 

Pitp |nM «4 Txl toul \ 


T>4QMAi MaLTKUS < 17QS h 

0^*i;£DCM Cf MAOKI^'lirAI 



tabu h\f^U 


4 l{|) 


B lb 10 




« ^ 10 

UlW 100 



mw 100 

^ ««• l?A 4 aJ l?$l. «T« 

Ptf funhcf ittfomiauoo on diis ^ubfcct, I t»&r tlK tnd«r to Mr 
Sonsntilcb's tabl<« Tlie exuacis that I have mada are ufficieei to 
ahfw (be pstodicaJ. though irreguSaf. tetunu of uckl; aeasona, and li 
aeenu; lugbly ptoCebk ihai a acantiMia ol room aod food staa one of 
(be principal cauan that occaaiooed (bein. 

ti appears from (he tables thai these eouoiriea we« loceeasing 
(aibet fast for old states, noit*sihsiaodmg the occaaiooal seasons that 
ptevaJad CulovatKii must have beto onproving, and uwriajes. 
ccAse^oentJy. eocotuaged For the dKcks to populaooo appeal to have 
bceo rather of ibe positive, ihao of ibe preventive kiod When from a 
prospect of inereaaicig plant; in an; coucury, ibe vveight that represses 
populatioo is A some degire removed, it is highly probable that the 
motion will be cooiiooed beyood ibe operaoon of the cause that first 
impelled it Or, to be more pamcular, Mwn the increaamg produce of a 
country, and itw locteasing demand fer labour, so &t amelivate the 
ccndiuoo of the labourer as greatly to encourage marriage, it is 
probable that (be custom of eaily marnages v*ill contuiuc (ill (be 
populatioo of the country has gene beyend the inaeased product, and 
sickly seasens appear to be the natural and netessaiy ccnse^uence. I 
should expect, iherefise, that th^ countries nhere subsistence was 
lecreasAg sufficiency ai times to encourage population but not to 
anssver all its demands, would be more subject to periodical epidemics 
(ban ibose svhere the populatioo could more completely accommoJaie 
iisdf to (be average product 

An observation (be converse of this will probably also be fouod 
true Ici those countries that are subject to periodical ticOiesses, the 
ificresse of populaiion. or (be excess of binbs above the burials, mII be 
greater lo the intervals of these periods (ban is usual, coererit panbui. 
Id ihc countries not so much subject to such disorders If Turkry and 
Egypt have been nearly staticnary in the* average popubuen fer the 
last ceeiury, ui the mtrvals of their periodical plagues, the births must 
have exceeded the burials a a ^cater proprvtion ihaci in sucb couotries 
as France and Eogland. 

Ihe average ptoporuen of butbs to burials a aoy country for a 
period of five to ten years, mII hence appear to be a very in^e^uaie 
cnietion by svhicb to judge of its real progrrss a population. This 

ELiCTacuf &eHca.oiLV pueitsHiws 

rsvadaiiontoft IsiioHCsnsick 

Alt EifOv rU) f‘uptilannn 


pfooontcA cffiaittl; shews the taie o( inctea«< Airing tfiose five ot i?fi 
ynrs: boi cart b; oo mans ihettct Afn wbai bad t*rfi die increase 
fer the isLveiy years before, or utui %*ould tc ihc irteteaa for ibe 
(svenry years sfUs. Dr Pnee ob«etvc« dial Sweden, Norway. Russia, slid 
(be kingdom of Naples, arc lecreasing ^ei: but (he exoacts freen 
resjsters ibai be has gjven are eoi for peticds of rufficient exuni lo 
establish the fact li is highly proCeble, hosuevee, (bai Ssueden. Norway, 
and RuKiJ. see really increasing ibeir populauoo, (bougb not at die raie 
(bai the peopomon of binbs (o teiriaJs for die short periods ihai Dr Rice 
ukes would saetn (o shew (See Dr Pnee'r Ohrenunnu, Vol ii. 
poatscripi (o (he controversy on (be populaucn of England and Wales i 
For five years, ending in 1777, (he peoperuen of births (o burials in (he 
kingdom of Naples was I4d (o 100, but (hoc is reasen to suppose (hat 
(bis proportion would indicate an incsease much greater ihan would be 
really found (o have taken place ui ihai kingdom diving a pericd of a 
hiBiAed years 

Dr 9icri cempared the registers of many villages and market 
towns in England fbr two periods, (be first, from ()(K«n Elizabeth to (he 
middle of the laa ceruiiry, and die second, freen diffeteni years at (be 
end of (he last cenwy lo ihc middle of the present And fittn a 
ccenparisoo of these extracts, n appears that in die firmer period (be 
births excaeded tbe burials ui the proportion of 174 to 100. tan in (he 
laner, only in the propemon of 111 to 100. Dr Price (binks that (be 
registers in (be {oemer perted are noi to be depended upen. bui. 
probably, ui this instance diay do n(M give inccrrect prop«nicns Ai 
least (here arc many reasons for expecting to find a greater etetts of 
births above die turels in the former period than a (be lauet In (he 
natural progress of die pcpulaticn of any couniry, more good land will, 
caererisMribac, be taken mto cultivatioe a (be earlier stages of i( than 
in die laur. (I say 'coererts ponhur', because (he incsease of (he 
produce (tf any country will always very greaOy depend cn (he spint of 
industry ibai prevails, and (be way in wtiidi n is directed Tbe 
knowl^ge and babiis of (be pecpic. aid other temporary causes, 
particularly the degree of cixil liberty and epualiy existAg at the time, 
must always bavc great Afluenct in exciting and directAg ibis spvii t 
And a greater propomonal yearly increase (tf produce will almon 
invanaUy be follov^ by a greater prcpcrticnal uicreasc of population 
But. besides this peai cause, which would natirally give (he excess of 
births above burials greater ai ihe end of Queen EJizatcth's reign than 
in (be mukdle of (be present cennvy, I cannot help (bAking that (he 
occasional ravages of (he plague in the former pcricd must have had 
some tendency to increase this prcporticn If an average of ten years 
had been taken a the inurvals ^ (he renans of this ^adful distfder. 

Plm |siMe4 Ixl JoAatfw la&i Paul iClurA YiM i 


T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 4170S I 

ot if tlw years of plague Itad been tejetted aa accidefiu], die tegiatm 
wouJd certaAly give the proponioo of binba to tunaJa too bigh for ihe 
real average Acreaa of (be pofulauoo. For scene few years aAer ibe 
great plagiu in J666. it la prdiablc ihu there was a mote ihan usual 
excess of binbt above buriak, penicularly if Dr Price's cfuiuoti be 
feunded. diat England was mote popolous at the rcvoluiioA Iwtuch 
happened only(wcnty*two yeart aftersuaids) (ban it it at preseni 

Ml King, in 1603. slated the proponjoo of ibe binht to the buriak 
(bccughout (he Kiegdom, exclusive (rf Lcndcn, as )) S lo 100 Dr Short 
makes lU lO the middle of the pre<cn( ctntisy, 111 (o 100 , inchiduig 
London Hie ptcfotticn a France ftf five years, ending a 1774, was 
117 to 100 If (bese statements are near (he mtb, and if (here ate no 
vsy great vanauons at panieulat periods ui (he propomoes. ii would 
appear ihai die population of Prance and England has accommcdaied 
iiself very neatly to ibe average product of each country Tbe 
diHcouragcmenis to matiiage, the consc^ueoi vicious habits, war. 
luxury, the sJesu though certam dcpopulaucn of large towns, and (be 
close babiiaiioos. and Asufficient food of many of the poor, prevent 
populatioo don inoeasing beyond the meass cf subsistence: and, if I 
may use an expression which eertaioly ai first appears strange, 
supercede the neccsaiiyof great and ravagiog epidemics to repress wbai 
It rcdundafic \Vete a wattuig plague to sweep off two millicns in 
Digland. and six miJions a F^ee. there can be oo doubt whatever 
(bat aAcr the inhabiianis bad recovered froto (he dreadful shock, the 
ptoporuen (tf births to buiials would be much above what i( is a cither 
ccuntry at preseni. 

tn New Jersey, tbe pecporticn of births to deaths on an average of 
seveo years, eodieg in 1743. was as 300 to 100. In France aod Englaod. 
ukuig Ibe highest proportion, it is at 117 lo 100 Great and asioeishAg 
as this tiffcrcnce is, we ought eot to be so sucAder*siiuck at u as to 
artntaM it lo (he miraculous interposiucri of heaven He causes of i( 
are nca remote, latcoi and mysterious, but near us, round about us, and 
open to the iovesugauoe of every inqiuriog muid It accerds with the 
most liberal span of philosophy lo supp» that eot a stone can fall or 
a plant rise, stidioui the inundate agency of divine power. But wt 
know from experience that (hesc operaiioos of whai sue call oauirc have 
beeo conducted aJmosi levanably acoerding to fixed laws. Aod since 
(be world begao, (be causes of population and depopulaiKA have 
probably been as constant as any of the laws of nature with which we 
are acquainied 

Hk passion beiwceo (he sexes has appeared a every age lo be so 
nearly the same that it may always be eonsidsted, in algebraic 
language, as a given qtantuy. He great law of necessity which 

tUCTacMr'&cMie.xfiLV nieiuiHiws 

FOuadiitontofC laiiAUCsnaiCk 

Ajt Eifov nn F‘uptilannn 


ptfveAit pofuJsuofi from ittctca^o^ jn an; couiur; t«yood Uk lood 
Mltich u can either produce or acquire, i< a law ao open to our view, so 
obviour aod evideni lo our undetstandingt aod «o ccenplctel; 
ccnfimvd by ihc eepetjence of every age. dui we cannoi for a momeni 
doubt jl Hie different modes whidi naue ia}xs to preveoi orreptesa a 
redunttit population do ooi appear, lodetd, lo us 40 ectiaio and 
regular, but though we caocioi always predict ihc mede sue may with 
certainry ptedica the Caet If ihc peoptfiion ol btnba to deaths for a few 
years indcate an inaeare of numters much beyood the proporuooal 
icicreaaed or acquired product of the cotmtiy, sue may te perfectly 
certam that unless an eroigratjoo takes place, tbc deaths wtO shortly 
exceed the btrths; and that the inaease that bod taken place for a few 
years cannot be tbe real average increase of tbc popubtitm of the 
country Were there no cehcr dcp^tnilating causes, every country 
would. wQihoui doutc be sub|ecs to ptriodical pcanleocas oe bmine 

Hie only true criietion of a real and Mntianent inaease in the 
populatioo of any country is tbe increase of the means of subsistence 
But even, ibis entanoe is subject to some slight variauons which are, 
however, conpktely open to our view and observations In some 
countries population appears to have t«en ftfccd. thai is. the people 
have beco habitiiaicd by degrees to live almost open the smallest 
possible quantity of food Hiete must have beta pcricds in such 
counties wheo population increased pemianenUy, without an increase 
le the meaos of subsisience. China seems to answer to this descripiioo 
tf the accounts we have of it are to be trusted, the losuei classes of 
pacple are ui the habit of livAg almost upoo the smaJlest possible 
quantity of food and are glad to get any pusid offals that Etircpean 
labourers would rather starve ihao eat Hie law id China which permits 
parents to eiposc their chilAen has tended pnocipaUy thus to fixee the 
populatioo. A oaiioo in this state must necessarily te subject to 
bmincs Where a couoiry is so pcpulous id proportion to the meaos of 
subsistence that the average produce of it is but barely sufficient to 
support the lives of die eihabitants, any deficiency ficnt die badoeis of 
seasons musi be ^al li is probable that ibe very frugal nsDner in 
which the Genioos arc in the habit of living cooiributes in some degree 
(o the fam mes of Indosian 

tn America, where (be reward of labour is at present so liberal, (be 
lower classes migbi rerreneb very coosideraUy id a year of scarcity 
wiihoui maiaially distressing (bemselves A famuic (berefare seems to 
be almost impossible It may be ctpected (bat in (he progress of the 
populatioo of America, (be labourers mil lo tunc be much less liberally 
rewarded Hie numters wiU in this case pemuneotly loaeasc without a 
propoiKnal inaease in the means of subsistence 

Pird (iiMeC Ixl JoAntfix la&i haul sfkur^YiM i 

T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 4170S I 


tn (be diHcfcni flaies of E«j(C(c (here tnu<i be scene VAna(ion« in 
(be proM*iicA bcTwem (be ndmbet of lohebitants aiul (be <iuafiUTy of 
feed con Mined, uisirtg from (be diflerew ItabiK of living Uui peevsil 
ici csch stale. Ute laboorers of the Sooih of Eogland aie so actosiomed 
(0 eat fine Mlwaien teesd thai (bey mII suffer themselves lo be haJf 
sijived Mfote they will sutonit (o live ULe (be Scotch pe3san(s. Ihcy 
nugbt perhaps id iime. by ihe cennant operaticn of die hard law of 
nectssiiy. be reduced lo live even like the Lower Cbioese, and (he 
counny wcaJd thee. Mih (be same quaiuity of food, suppon a jester 
populaiioo Bui 10 efftcr this must always te a moss difficu]!, and. 
every friend to humaciity will hope, an ab^ve attempt Ncehiog is so 
common as to hear of eocouragemenis iba( ought lo tc given to 
populaiioo If (he (endeocy of mankind to inaease be so great as I have 
represen(ed ii to be, u may appear sirange ihat (bis increase don nca 
ccenc when u is thus repeatedly called ta. Ihc (me reasoe is that (he 
deinaod ftf a greater populattcn is made wiibout preparing the fiinds 
Mcesaary (o support it Increase (he desnand for agnculnsa] labour by 
pronMiog cuJtivaiicn. and Mih u consequenily lecrease the produce of 
(be counuy, aod amelKraie the coodition ol the labourer, and no 
appreheoasons whatever oced be entertained of tbe proponiona] 
ificresse of populaiioo. An aticmps to effect this purpose le any other 
way IS VICIOUS, cruel, and tyranfiical, aod in any slate of tolerable 
freedent canntM therefore succead It may appear to be the interest of 
(be rulers, and the rich of a state, to fcrct pcpaJaitcn, and thereby lower 
(be price of labour, and consequenOy the expense of fleets aod armies, 
and (he cost of manufactisn ki ferngn sale, but every anempt of (be 
krod should be carefully watebed aod strenuously resrsted by the 
friends of the poor, particularly when i( cemes under die deceitful garb 
of bencvolcect. and is likely, cn (bai account (o be cheerfully and 
cordially received by tbe commoo people 

t entirely acquit Mr Put of any sinisier lotcniicn id ihai claise of 
his Poor Bill uhicb allows a shilling a week to every labourer fer each 
child be has above three. I confess, that before (he bill was Choughs into 
Parliameot. and for some time after, I thought (bai such a regulaiion 
would tc highly beneficial, but further reflection on the subject bas 
convinced me that if its object be to better die coodition of (be pocr, n 
II calculated to defeat the very purpose whidi n has ici view It has no 
(endeocy that I caa discover lo mcrease (be produce of ibe country, and 
if It lend 10 increase the populaiicn. without uicrcasmg die product, 
(be oecessary and inevitable consequence appears to be that the same 
produce must be divided among a grcaict Dumber, and consequently 
(bai a day's labour will purchase a smaJer quantity of provisioes. and 
(be poor therefore in gmtral muss be more diWess^ 

eLiCTUCdff'gCHlt.OlLV pueieiHIWS 

CovadsiionvofC laiicUCsnsio. 

Alt Eifov rU) f‘uptilimnn 


t h£v< mettuoficd some casn \*ticrc populauoe msy permsiKCitl; 
jocresw Mihout a profionjooal joctesse it* ihe niean« ol wlsistcttcc 
But it i« rvtdefii dui ihe vanaitott it* diflsau s(Jt<«. between the tood 
and (be oumbeti; eupptficd by it i< K«DKied loa limii tcycnd which M 
caiinoi In every counuy, the populaiKH of wtuch is oot ab«oluuly 
decreasicig, die food must tic oeceesarily eufficiefii lo «uppon. and to 
ccntifi i*e. the race of latousei« 

Odiar circunutances bein£ the same, ii may tc a/Tintied ifiai 
counmee ate pcfwJous accceding lo flie quastuy of human fcod wbidi 
(bey pteduee, and bappy according to the libsaJity Mtb wluch dial 
food IS divided, cr the quanuiy wliicb a day's latouf will pwebase 
Com eouoines are mere pofxJous (ban pasiure counnits. aod nee 
counmes more p<(>ulous (ban com counvies. Hw laods in Eoglaod are 
nee suKcd lo (ice, taudwy suouJd all bear potatoes; and Di Adam Smith 
obaen es that if potatoes were to become (he favoutue vegetable food 
of the common people, and if the same iiiiantuy of land was employed 
le (bau culture as is now employed in the culrure of ctfn, die counoy 
would be able to suppen a much greater pcpulaiion, and sueaJd 
cen«Muenily in a very sbon time have it 

Hie happiness of a country does not depend, absolutely, upoo its 
poverty u its nebes, upoo its youtb er its age. upon us bung thinly or 
fully inhabKed, but upon (he rapidity wstb wtiidi M is uicreasiog, upon 
(be de^cc lo ohieh die yearly increase of food approaches lo the yearly 
lecrease of an inresvicaad populatton 'This approxunation is always 
(be nearest lO oew colonies, where the knowledge aod industry of an 
old state operate on the femle unapprepnated land of a oew one. In 
oiber cases, (be youth or the sgc of a state is not in this respets of very 
great importaocv It is probable that (he feed of Great Britain is divided 
ici as great plenty to the inhabnaois. at (be present period, as u was two 
(bousatwl. three thousand, er four ihousaod yoars ago And there is 
reasen to believe (hat the potf and thioly inhalMtcd tracts of the Scotch 
Highlands are as mueb Assessed by an overcharged populatioo as the 
neb aod pepuJous province of Flanders 

Were a cotmtry never to be overruo by a people moK advanced in 
ans, but leA to us own natural progress a civiluaiioo: from the uroe 
(bat Its product might be coosidered as an uoit, to (he ume that it might 
be coosidcred as a million, dung the lapse of many hundred years, 
(bere would not be a atngle period when the mass of (he pec^c could 
be said (0 be free from distress, eiihct directly or mbreedy. for want of 
foed lo every state in Europe, since we have firsi had accouois of ii, 
millions and millions of human eiisiencts have been repressed frem 
(bis ample cause; though perhaps lo some of these states an absolute 
&mine has never bceo Oiown 

Plro |aiMe« Ixt Joha^ la Si haul i ChirA Ywd. Laotij*. 


T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS < 170S) 

Panufie 5«in« to be (he Iasi, ihc moa drrsdhji re«oiirct nl nuurc 
Hk p(n*n of pcfxJaticn u «o «up«riot lo (he power lo ihc cenh lo 
peoduec subsiftence for maci. (tui p«eftia((tfe death imsi lo some shape 
ot o(her viui the Itainan race. Ihe vtces of mattkiiid arc accjve aed able 
miciKttrs of depepuJatKA Ihe; arc ihe prcoiifscr< in (he ^eat army of 
daaruciioA; and ofUtt ficiiah (be <fteadhjl work ihemrelves Btu di^d 
(bey &il A (bis war of niamituisott. sieUy <easot)«. epHkenKS, 
pcs(j)csKe, and plasue, advance in tenific array, aod s(«ccp off their 
(bocjsafvls afid len (housands ShodJd sdccese be ndl locomplecc, 
gigsnpe ifievuable famine etalks in (be rear, and (*tih cbk mighry blow 
levels tbe populaiion wi(b ihe food of ihe wtfid. 

Miici ft not ihcn be acknowledged by ao anentivc examiner of the 
hisiones of mankind, (hai io every age aod in every s(ate in which man 
her exiMd, cr dees now exist 

Ihai (he increase of population is oecessarily limucd by (he means 
of subsisicnce 

Ihai popolJiKA does lOvanaUy increase wben the means of 
subsisKnct iDCseast And (bai ihe supaicr power of populaiion M 
repressed, and (be acnial populaoon kept eq(ttl to tlW means of 
subsincncv, by misery and vice' 


CsviuUiiontofC laiitfilCenai» 


Wr WtJlaee > E/mr cf mopoung MV rfv ^ffrct/n avug f>cm 
^•ya^onot It df s g'f^f dnU/iet • Mr CetMnrttl'i ilifKh rtf Mf 
pf^rat f)f W iVri*^ rtav! • ^^rrtrd niM /iW ^imftnica, nwiftiMnT 
^ Wr CtoWorfff hi M Bpp^Jei te (W if»ta/T ntee 

To A >>E3iS0N WHO MaWsthe »»Ersutr/c OBVIOUS INRKSNTES. Iron 
» v)n« of tbe pa^ and ptcwfii siau of maciLod, ii cannot but be a 
matus of ationiiluiuftt that aJi ibe wriiefs oo du pafectibility of man 
and of aocteiy wito have ncaictd (be argument of an overcharged 
pofxilaiioo, ireai ii always very alighily and invariably refiteent ihe 
di^culuca arising from u a< at a great and aJmon immeasurable 
diaiance. Even Mr Wallaet, who dioughi (be argumesi iiadf of so much 
weight as to destroy hi< wlide ays(cm of rpiialiTy, did not went lo be 
aware dial aoy difficulty would occur from this cause tJI (be whole 
earth bad been cultivated likte a garden and wa< locapablc of any further 
lecreaae of produce Were dus ready the case, aiM were a beauufiJ 
system of equality ui odur re<p«cti peaeiicable. I caonoi think thai our 
ardour in (be pursuit of such a sebeme oughi to be damficd by the 
ccniemplaiicA of so remote a difficulty Ao event at such a distance 
might fairly t< lef) to providcocv, but the truth it that if the view of the 
argument giveo in (bit Essay be jutt the difficulty, to far from boiog 
remote, would be imnuneni and immediate. At every period during (be 
progress of euliivaiion, from (be peesent moment to the ume when the 
whole earth was become like a garden, (be distress fer want of food 
would be coottanily pretting on all mankind, if (bey were c^iiaJ 
Ihough (be produce of the earth might be locteasuig every year, 
populaiioo wculd be locteaang much ^ster, and the rcdimdaney must 
necessarily be repretted by the periodical ce constant acuoo of mitery 
or vice 

Mr Condorcet't Es^uitte d'un Tableau KisioriQue dcs ^gres de 
I'Etpiit HumaiA, was wriden, i( is taid, under die pressure of (bat auel 
proscripticA which letminated ui his death If he bad no hepot of its 
being seen during bit life and of its interestiog Prance lO his favour, it it 

T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 4170S I 

a ijogular ittnann c4 itw studuneti c4 a man lo pfUKipka, ntuch 
every day's expcrjcnce sies so faiall; fa binxelf CDfiusdicocig To tee 
(be buman mind in cne o4 ihe nuoi enliglitenni oauoea o4 die ssvrld. 
and aAcr a lapse of some ihousand years, debased by such a 
fiarmentaucA of disgusiin^ passions, of fear, aiKity, itialka, Nvenfa, 
ambiuoo, madness, and folly as would have disgraced (he most savage 
nation id ihe itioei barbarous age must have been siKb a oemendcais 
shock to his ideas of (he oacessary aivl inevuable progress of tbe 
human mind ihat oothing but ihe firmes( eooviciion of ihe (ruth of his 
peinciples. in spite of all appcaracicts. could have wiihs(ood 

Ihis posduinttus publicaium is onJy a skeich of a much larger 
work, Mhich he proposed should tc esacuied Ii necessarily, thereftfe, 
waois ibaidciail aod appltcanoo which cao alone prove the (ruth of any 
(bacry A few observations will be sufficicni lo shew how ccenplctely 
(be (beory is ccntradicud when it is applied (o (he real, and eot (o an 
imaginary, siaie of (hings. 

tn the las( divisicn of the work, which (reals of the future peogress 
of man towards perfecuoo, be says, (ha( comparing, lo (he diffeteni 
civiliaed oaocios of Europe, (be actual populaiioo with the exteoi of 
(erriiory, and observing (heir cuUivauoo. their mdiis(ry, (heir divisicns 
of labour, and (beir mcaos of subsisrcnce, we shall see (hai i( would be 
impossible (o preserve the same means of subaifleoct. aod, 
ccnsei^uenily, (he same populaticn. wi(boui a number of individuals 
who have oo oaber means of supplying (heir waois than (heir lodusiry 
Having allowed the necessity of such a class of men. aod advenuig 
afterwards (o the peecarious revenue of ihM families that wcaJd 
depend so eniirely on (he lift and heal(b of (heir chief, be says, very 
justly ‘Ihere exis(s then, a necessary cause of loequabry, of 
dcp4ndenct. and even of missny, whicb menaces, without ccasiog, (he 
moet numerous and acuve class of our soctesies.' (To save time and 
loog quoiatioos. I shall bere give the substance of seme of Mr 
Coodorcei's seoumsnis, and hope I shall no( misrepresent (bem But I 
reftr the reader lo the week usclf, which will amuse, if u dcas no( 
convince him ) Ihe difficulty is |us( and well seated, and I am afraid 
(bat the mode by which he proposes it should be removed will be found 
leefficacious By the applicatioo of calculations to (he probebiliiics of 
hft and die interest ^ mcney. he peopusas ihai a fuod should be 
astablished whidi should assiae to the old an assistance, peoducetL ui 
pan. by (heir own former savings, and, in pan. by (he saviags of 
lodjvnduals who in making (he same sacrifice die b^Me they reap (be 
benefit of it Ihe same, cr a similar fistd, should give assisiance to 
women and diil^o who lose (heir husbands, or fathers, aod affcid a 
capital to those who were of an age to found a oew ftmily, sufficimi 


rsvuUiiontofC IsiiwUCsnsick 

Alt Eisav riH F‘uptilimnn 


fci die propcf devclofmieAt c4 dutf industry Tliee eubUsbnietiis, he 
obsen'e^ nught be made iii ibe ojinc and under ihe protecuofi of ihe 
ucjeiy Coiog etiJ) fuidier, he «ay« thai. by tbe juet apfdieaijofi of 
calcidauofu, meaiu raighi be foood of more compleuly ptesernttg a 
Slate of equality, by preveoung credu ficnt beieg the eicluuve 
privilege of great foruifier, asd yet giving ii a ba&js equaJy solid, and 
by rendering the progiesf of lodusiiy. and (be acejvlry of oonutietca, 
)ns dependeni cn great capjiaJists 

Siaeh es(ablj(linieti(a and eakulaiione may appear very promising 
upon paper, teu v>tiai appUed lo real life ibey mII be found lo be 
absolutely nugaitfy Mi Cendoreet aOoivs (bat a elaas of people wbieh 
mauKaiJU iiaelf entirely by industry is necessary to every stale ^Miy 
does he allow this^ No odier leascn can well be assigned than (hat he 
ccnceives ihat (he labour necessary to procure subsistence fer an 
extended population mil not be performed without (be goad of 
nectsaiiy If by establishments of this Kmd of spur lo industry be 
tertioved. if the idle and the negligent are placed upon the same Icciting 
wiih regard to (hair credit and (be future support of their suves and 
Smiles, as the active and industrious, can we etpeci to see men eien 
(bat animated activity in bettering ibeit condition which now forms (be 
master spring of public prosperity^ If an inquisuion were lo be 
established lo examine (be claims of each lodividual and lo determine 
whether he bad or had not cxened binuxlf lo the utmost, and lo gram u 
refuse aasistanct accordingly, this would be linla else than a repetition 
upon a larger scale of die Englidi poor laws and would be complcicly 
destructive of (he true principles of litany and equably 

But independent of this ^eat objection to these esiablisbments, and 
supposing fet a moment dial ibey would give no dietk (o productive 
industry, by far the grcatesi difficulty remains yet behuid 

Were every man sure of a comfortable provision for bis family, 
almosi every man would have one. and were the rising generation frM 
Aon the 'killAg frost' of misery, population mutt rapidly inaeate. Of 
(bis hh Coodorcet seems to be fully aware binself. and after having 
described further improvements, ha says. But in this process of industry 
and happiness, ea^ generaticn will it called to more extended 
en|oyitients, and in consequence, by the physical ccrutituttcn of the 
human frame, to an increase in ibe number of uulividiials. Mutt net 
(here arrive a period then, when these laws, equally necessary, shall 
counteract each other? When the uicrease of the number of men 
surpassmg (beu means of subsistence, the necessary tesuli must be 
eidiar»continual dimuiution of happiness and pcpailation, a moveroent 
truly retrograde, or, at least, a kind of oscdlaticn between goed and 
evil? In societies arrived ai this term, will not this oscillaitcn tc a 

Pira (aiMeC Ixl la&i Paul sCkur^YiM i 

T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS < 170S) 

ccAstanil; suCisjHicig caua of pettcdjcal misery^ Will ii noi mafk ihc 
)ifDii wbeti all fivthrr anvljorsuon Mil becontc impoMibU. sod pojiu 
oui Utai lemi to (be ptrflKtibj)jiy of ihe hiimsn race schicb n iiuy tesdi 

10 ihe course of eget tail can never pass? 

He iheo adda. Husc i« no p<rsoo mIio does not act Itow very 
djsiafK audi a period is fiom us, bui abaJ) we ever arrive a( ii? It is 
equally impossible lo pronounce for u againei (be fuiurc realuaiioo of 
an everu wbidi caoDOi (ake place t*u a( an era when ihe liumao race 
will have aiiaioed imp(ovemeo(s. of which we can at p)cecn( scarcely 
ferm a ccsKepeioo. 

Mr Ccivdcecei's pinurc of whai may be npecicd lo happen wbeti 
(be oumbei of men shall surpass ibe means of (heu subsistence is justly 
tftawn Ihe oscillaiion whicb be desciitca wj) cersauily lake place aod 
will wnhcKU doubi be a constaoUy subsisiuig cause of petiodical 
misery Ihe only point io which I diihj’ fictn MrCoodotcet with regard 
(0 (his picture is die pttiod whoi n may be applied (o (be humaci race 
Ml Condoicet (binks that ii caocioi possibly be applicable bui ai ao aa 
cxiremely disiacit If the proponion between die oauirsl increase of 
populaiioo aod food which I have giveo be in aoy dcgiee oeai Ihe truth, 

11 wiO appear, on the eooiraty. iha( the petied whes (he number of nen 
suipass their means of subaisience has loog since arrived, and that this 
nectssiiy oscillaiKii. this ccAstaotly subsisung cause of periodical 
misery, has eiisted ever suiee we have bad any histtfies of maokiod. 
does exist at ptesenu and will ftf evet eoniioue lo eiisi, leilcss some 
decided ehaoge take place ui the physical cceuiKuiion of our oaiuie 

Ml Condcrcti, hosvevei. goes csi lo say ibai should (he period, 
which he ccsKeives to be so distant evar airvve. (be human lace, and 
(be advcca(es for (be perfeteibiliiy of man, need not be alarmed ai it He 
(ben proceeds to remove the diflicuhy lO a manner sihich I profess nee 
(o understand Haviog observed, thai (he ridiculous prejudices of 
superstuioo would by (hat time have ceased to ihiow over morals a 
cernipe aod degradmg austerity, he alludes, either to a piomisciKKS 
ccrKubinagc, which would prevent tretding, or to some^og else as 
unnaiural To remove the difficulty in this way will, sisely, in (be 
opinion of most men, be lo destroy (bat virtue aod purity of manners, 
which (be advocates of equality, aod of the perfactibiliry of man. 
profess (0 be the end and object trf (beii views. 


FOoUiiioni of Olaiitf U Csnsick 


Hf ffft pe/f^4h$t4fv of 

(he 4f^ffu^(t ^ ttfe • FetSecf c^ W 

dr|ivf 0 N. whtek t^n a pwf^ea frf>^ 4 pefft^ 

4 /VyPA^£/TlW. ^ ^ 4 ff 

W ^(he ciJtn'Aftfvi 

TKELASTOUESTinN wHrM Mr CnNDOCim noRUEs fa njtiuiuiiofi 
ji flte orgaciic perfecubility of man. He o&servts ihai if itw proo ft 
Mild) l)ave teen skesdy given end Much, lo their dtvelcfunent onO 
reteive greaiet font a the work M<elf, an fuNicicni lo cetaUiili (be 
ifidefinite perfbctibjlit; of maci upon (be supposiuofi of die seme naiural 
&c(t]iiee sod (be sme orgaoizsiion suhieb he has st prcieoL ntai will 
be ihe cvnsifuy, Miai the exiem of our hope, if (bis crganizsiicA, iheee 
nstura] faculues ihemsdvee, sre wecxpiible of ajneUoesucA^ 

Prom the impeovemeiK of medcine, from die use of mcee 
MioJeicenc food aod babiiauoni. ficen s manficr rtf living ufiich will 
improve die tircngih of (be body by nerase suuhoiu impairing it by 
excess, ficen the deesuceioo of (be two great esusee of the degisdstion 
of man, misery, and irio grcai neli«. fiom die padusl removal of 
caoemisiUe and contagious disorders by (be improvement of pbysica] 
knowledge, rendered more eflicacioui by tbe progress of reason and of 
social order, he infers that diough man will not absoluiely become 
immoaa], yei that dw duration bdween his binb and natural deaib will 
ificreese Mthout ceasAg, will have do assignable term, and may 
properly be expressed by (he word 'indefAUe’ He thee defioes this 
word 10 mean eiibet a cennam approach loan unlimited exteoi wnhout 
ever reaching u, or an increase lo die immensity of ages to an exunt 
greater ihao aoy assignable quaouiy. 

But Hurely the applicaucn of this tom lo either of dicse anses to 
(be daauon of human life is lo (be higbts( degree unphilosopbical and 
(otally uowarranted by any appearances a the laws of nature 
Variatioos from difletent causes are esseniiaJly distinct from a regular 
and istrerrograde locrease. Hie average duration of human life will lo a 

d 9 


T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 4170S I 

certam d«gK« vary frcan heaJiby or uulKjlihy cliiiBies, frcan 
MltdeMmc or unMltdesome food, front vtfiuous ot vicious ntaociHS. 
and ctfiet causas, but H tttay be fairly doubted wbedier there is really 
(be 9 malle)i pctctpiible advaoct jo the tumral ^aitcit of hunun )ile 
since ftrsi we have had any authrottc biricry of man. 'Ihc pequdicn of 
all ages have indeed beeo duectly concary to (bis supposiuon. and 
(bough I would not lay mucb Hiresa upcit these pre^udiets, (bey will in 
some measure tend lo prove tbai (here has been no marked advance in 
an epposite dueciion 

ti may perhaps be said tfui the world is yes so young, so 
ccmpletely id us infancy, dial u ought n(M lo be expected ihoi any 
diffeieece should appear so sooo. 

If (his tc (he case, dtete is a( once an end of all human science Ihe 
whole ir%n of reascnings &om elTecis to causes «ill be destroyed 5 Ve 
may shin our eyes lo tbe tonk of naiisr, as u will oo longer be of any 
(se to read ii Ihe wildssi and most improbable conjociures may be 
advanced with as much etnainiy is tbe most just and sublime ibrorKS, 
{«ndcd 00 careful and reiterated expertmeois W« may return agam to 
(be old nude of pbilosophisiog and nuke fKis tend to systems, lestead 
of estaUisbAg systems upon ^cis. Ihc graod and consisient (beery of 
Newton will be ^aced upon ibe same footing as ihr wild and eettome 
hypoibrses of Descartes In shert, if tbe laws of nanirc are thus hckle 
and iDConstant if it can be affirmed and tc tclieved that they uall 
change, when ftf ages and ages they have appeared immutable, the 
human mind will oo Icnger have any mcitrmcnis to inquiry, tau must 
irmain fixed in inactive torpor, or amuse itself only in bewildering 
Aeams and extravagant fartcies. 

Ihe constaocy of the laws ttf oatureaod of effects aod causes is (be 
foundaiicn of all human knowledge, diougb &r be i( ficni me to say 
(bat the same power which framed and eiccutes the laws of nature may 
not change ihm all 'in a moment, m the iwioklmg of an eye ' Such a 
change may undoubtedly happen All ibji I mean lo say is ihai it is 
impossible to infer ii from rcasooing If widiout any previous 
observable symptoms cr indications of a change, we can infer that a 
change will take pbce. we may as suell nuke any assertion wbatever 
and think it as uoreasonablc to be ccntradicted in affirming that the 
mooo will eome in contaci with the earth tttnorrow, as to saying that 
tbe suo wiJ nte at iis usual time 

With regard to the duraiioo of bunan life there does ntc appear to 
have existed from the earliest ages of the svceld lo tbe present ntenunt 
tbe smallest permanent sympiom or indtcatioo of locreasing 
prolcngaucA Ihe observable effects of climate, babii. det. aod o(her 
causes, on leogih (tf life have furnished tbe pretext for asserting its 


PsvaiUiiontoft IsiiuilCsnaio. 

Alt Eisav riH F‘uptilaiinn 


jedefittM exiensjofi; sod dis uiid; foaodsuoii or* xvtudt ihe srgmneti 
tms i« Uui becsuM the Umli ol hutieo lift is ufidcfitted: tccsusc you 
caiifioi nujt: it« precise mciv snd «sy so far exactly shall it go sod no 
{Uflheti dial durefote iir exunt may increase ftf ever, sod be properly 
(emed isvkrinne or uolmuted Bui ibe ^Uscy sod absurdity of this 
argumeM will ruffieieritly apficar dom a sUghi naminaiion of what Mr 
Coodorcet eaJr ibe organic pcrfectibiliiy, nr degcocraiion, of the race 
of piaeis aod animalr, which he says may be regarded as ooe of Ihe 
general laws of naiure. 

I am (old that ii is a maxun amoog ibe improvers of eanle dial you 
may breed to any degree of oieeiy you please, arwl they fouod this 
maiuit upen anodier, i*tudi is ibai some of the offspring will possess 
(be desuable qualities of the paienH 01 a greater degree, to (be famous 
Leicesierrbire treed of rbeep. the ob^ece is to proeuie them with snuO 
heads and small kgr Rocetding upon Ihe 4 e breedoig maxims, it is 
evident ihai we might go on (ill the beads and legs were evanesceru 
quantities, bui this is so palpable ao absurdity tbai we may be quite rise 
(bat (be premisea are not just aod dial there really it a Umit, (bough we 
cannot tee it cr say exactly where 11 is In this case, (be poien of the 
gieaten degree of improvement, or (be smalJesi size of the bead and 
legs, may be Bid 10 be undefieed, bui (bit is very differeoi from 
unlimited, or &cm lodefiniie, in Mi Condcreet't acceptauoo nf (he 
term Though I may not be able 10 the present instance to mask: the limit 
SI which further improvement will stop, I can very asily menuon a 
point ai which it will not amve. I should eni tcruple to assert that were 
the breeding to cooiiniK fer ever, the head and legs of these sheep 
would never be so small as the head and legs of a rai 

ti cannot b< true, therefore, dial ameng animals, tome of the 
offtprieg will possess the detirable qualitias of the paicoit in a ^cater 
degree, oc ihai animals are aidefieiitely perfectible 

Hie progress of a wnld plaoi to a bnimfUJ garden flower is perhaps 
nuce maibcd and striking diao anything that takes place among 
animals, yet even here 11 would be the height of abturdiiy to assert that 
the progress was isilimited 01 lodefinue 

One of the moti obvious features of (be improvement is (he 
increase of size. The flower has ^owo gradually larger by cuhivauon 
If the peogress were really unlimited it might be increased ad infAitum, 
bui this IS to gross an absurduy that we may be quite sure diai ameng 
plants as well as among animals there it a limit to improvement though 
we do not exactly know where u it It is probeUe ibat ihe gardeners 
who ctmiend for flower prizes have often applied stronger drassing 
wiihoui success At the same tune M would be highly presumptuous in 
any man to say ibai he bad seen die finesi carnaiicn cr anemooc ibai 

Pim fwtMcC (acl Joha^iv lad haul sClur^YiM * 

S 2 

T> 4 aMA^ MaLTHUS 4170 S I 

could ever be made to grow. He mi^i bovever a&scti wiihotii (be 
smaUesi cbence oltcirtg cooiradtcird by a futorc face ihat no camaiion 
ot aemnooe could ever by nihivaiioo tc lAcrcased iodic size o 4 a large 
cabbage, and yn (here are auignablc quanoues much greater dtan a 
cabbage No nun can ray (bat he hae aeen the largni ear of wheat, u 
(be largeat oak iha( could ever growi bui he migbi caaily, and with 
perfeci cenaioty, name a pQjn( of magiuujdt at wbieh they would nee 
arrive Ici all iboe caaea iherclbre, a careful diMinedon dMuld be made, 
between an unlimued progrear, and a progrett where ibe lunii is merely 

h will t* said, perhapa, that the reason why plancn and anunaU 
cannoa increase lodefinuely in aiae is. ihai they suould fall by their own 
weight I anewet, how do sue know dus t*u from experience^ •• 6 cnt 
experience of the degree of urengib with which ibesc bodice are 
fermed I koow tbai a earnaiicn, long befere it reached the size of a 
cabbage, would not be nupported by ii< Malh. tut I only know dus frem 
ntyeipcfience of the woaknass and want of tenacity in die materials of 
a eamauon 'Ihere are many subttancee lo nature of (he sanw tire 
(bat would support as brge a head at a cabhage 

Ihe reasons of the mtftality of plants are ai preteni perfectly 
unknown (o u< No ttse can say why such a plaot is annual, aeodier 
biennial, and another cndiscs fer agee. Ihe whole affair in all these 
cases, ui plants, animals, and id the biiman race, is ao affair of 
experience, and I only conclude dut nun is mcnal because (be 
lOvanaUe experience of all ages hat proved the monalKy of ihose 
nutcrials of which his visible t«dy i< nude 

^Miai can wc reason, bui from what we know^ 

Sound philosophy will n(M auihonze me to alta this opieion of ihe 
nurtal(y of mao on earth, (ill M can be clearly proved that (be human 
race has nude, and i< making, a decided priest towards an illuniiable 
exteoi of life And the chief reaton why I adduced (be two particular 
losiances from animak and plaots was to expote and illustraie, if I 
could (be fallacy of thai argument whidi infers an isilimited progress, 
merely because tome partial improvement het taken place, and (hat (he 
limit of (his unprovemeoi canntM be precisely ascertained 

Ihe capacity of improvement a plants and animals, to a ctnain 
degree, no person can possibly doubt A clear and decided process has 
abeady been made, and yet. I ihutk. it appears ibai u would be highly 
absurd lo say that (his progress has oo limus. In human Ife. though 
(here arc ^cat vanaiions from different causes, M may doubled 
whether, since the world began, any organic improvement whatever in 
(be human frame can be clearly asetrtamed Ihe fdundaiions. therefore, 
on which the argumenis ftf the organic pcrfccubiliiy of dud resi, are 

eLiC7ac«IC&CHia.xilLV plieLtSHIWS 

rsuaduiontofC IsiitfUCsnsick 

Ajt Eifov nn F‘upt>lannn 


unusufiOy sKdk. diid can ool; be coosidetcd as mcfe ccfijeciurB Ii 
docs noL bovrver, by aciy means seam impossible ibai by an aruntiosi 
in breed, a certain dc^et of improvertiesit, sunilar lo that oniony 
animaU might uke place ameng meru Whether intellect could be 
ccmmunjcaied may be a mancr of doubt' but size, strength, beauty, 
ccmpleaion, and perhaps eveo loogevjiy are in a degree transmsssiblc 
Ihe error decs ooi seem to )ie in supposing a small degree of 
improvement possible, but in not diacriminaimg befvetn a small 
improvement, the Imit of Mhidi is undefined, and an improvemeni 
really unlimited. As die human race, however, could not be improved 
ifi this way, widicau coodemnuig aJ the bod specunans to celibacy, ii is 
not protebU that ao aitcniicn to breed dMuld ever tocome general: 
ifide^, I know of no suell-directed atumpts of tbis bnd, eicept a tbe 
anciem bmily of the EickerstaHs, stho are said to have been very 
succesaftil io ahitetnng the skins and increasing the height of diair race 
by prudent marnages, particularly by that very judicicas croas sudi 
Maud, the milk>maid, by which some capital defects in tbe 
ccAsutuiions of the family were ocrrected. 

h will not be necessary, I ihuik. in tfder mere completely to shew 
tbe improbability of any apprcech in man towards imincnality on earth, 
lo urge the very greai addiicnal weight that an inacase in die duration 
of life would give lodie argumeni of population. 

Many, I doubt not, will tbink that die aiiempiing gmvely to 
ccnirovert so absurd a paradox as the immortality of mao on eanb, or 
indeed, even the perfectibility of man and society, is a waste of ome 
and svotds. and that such unfounded conjccnires are beet anssvered by 
neglect I profess, however, to be of a different opAicn When 
paradoxes Ibis kind are advanced by ingenious and able men. neglect 
has no tendency to convince them of their mistakes Pr>dmg themselves 
on whai they conceive to te a mark of tbe reach and size of their own 
undersiandngs, of the extent and coroprebcnsivcness of their views, 
ibey will look upon this neglect merely as an indication of poverty, and 
narrowiKis in the mental etcriions of their contemporaries, and only 
ibinkdtat ibe world is not y«i prepared loreceive their sublime truths 
On the contrary, a candd investigation of these subjects, 
actompaoied with a perfect readioess to adopt any theory warranted by 
souod philosophy, may have a tendency to ocnvince them that ui 
forming improbable and uofbunded hyfioibeses, so far from colarguig 
the bcaiJids of human science, they are contracting it so far &aii 
promotiogihe uoprovement of the human mind, they are obsiniciuig it; 
they are ibiowing us bock again almost into the infancy of knowledge 
and sveakenmg the foun^ticns of ihai mode of philosopbisAg, under 
the auspices of sthicb science has of laie made such rapid advances 

Pim |aiMe« Ixl JoAii^ la Si haul i CkirA Ywd. Laotij*. 


T> 4 aMA^ MaLTHUS < 170 S) 

Hk pfnau rage Ca «ide and uttresvained «p«ulation acenu lo be a 
kjod of mettial intoxjcaiiott. ariung. pertaQa, from die gmi and 
UMipecud difcovetica «. 4 )icli have bettt made of late yeata, it* varioua 
btandwa of acience To nvn date aod gtddj Mib auch aocteasea, every 
(bieg apfKarcd u> be wtthitt the giaap of Ituman powers: and. under Utu 
jIluaioiL dwy eoofeemded aubfeeK tvherc no teal pro^esa could be 
proved with those where (be progrees had tceo marted, certain, and 
acfcnowfedged Could they be perauaded (o sober ihecnaelvea with a 
)ifile severe aod ebamaed ibinbng, they would see, thai ihe cause of 
cudi. and of aceind philoacphy, cannot bui suffer by aubstdiMieg wild 
Oighia and unaupptftcd aeserdooa for pauent Avcmgation, aed waU 
autheoiKatcd proofs 

Mr Coodorcei'a book may be eonatdered not only as a akeich of 
(be opjoiooa of a cefetrated uidividua], teu of many of the literary tnen 
ici Ranee a( the begiooing of die RevoJudoo Aa such, (bough merely a 
she(ch. It aeeiiu tvordiyof atteoiicn 




W' ficduji'f fysifni • Efnv i^anf40nijig eO tie viea of 

U) huna/t ivtiiniKvu > Mf God<4»n't fi/it to Mf 

^ffScidit onuitg from popttJoinm totolh t/auffteiem ' Mr OrAara'} 
te/initful i\stoo4 of «4ii9bn zappottd to M ftSe^ • Ik utter 
deiltiartio/' etKipl'tfrom titprt/tetple of pepeJuUOK w so dro*T e Itirtt 
03 tbiftt yoot! 

JuMicc e \s imp«Miblc ttoi to be sinick Mth (be spirit sod eoetgy of his 
si>fe, ihe force and precisicn (tf some of his reasooings, ihe srdeiK tone 
of hjs (boogbts, aod peniniiael; with itui icnpmsive esmcsirKss of 
nunner wbidi gives an aif (tf iniih (o ihe (vtiole Ai ihe same iime, u 
nuisi be confessed ihai he has not peocctded lo his inquBies with (be 
cauiioo ibu sound pluloscphy seems lo requise His condusions ate 
often un«'arran(ed ^ bis premises. He fails scsneiimes lo removiog (he 
objections svbidi he himself C^iogs ftf^va^d. He lelies too much on 
gcnetal and absuacs proposmoiu (vtuch will nee admii of applicauoo 
And bis ccnieciuKs cenaAly fas ouisirip die modesiy of nature 

Ihe system of equality which Mr Godwin proposes is, wnheau 
dnubi. by fas (he mosi beauiiful and engagAg of any ihai baa ye( 
appeared Ao amclioraiion of society to be peoduetd mesely by reason 
and ccAviction wears much more (be promis of permaneoce (han any 
change effected aod maintained by toce Tbe uolimiied exercise of 
private judgement is a doctrine inexpressibly grand aod capuvaueg and 
has a vasi supenoniy over those systems where every individual is lo a 
manner the slave of (be public Ihe subsuniUoe (tf benevolcoct as (he 
manar>spring and moving principle of sccieiy, insiead of selMove, is a 
ccnsummation devoutly (o be wished In short, it is impossible to 
ccAtemplaie (be whole of this fair structure without emoiions of dcli^ 
and admiration, accompaoKd wuh ardeoi looging fer (be period of its 
accomplisbmetii But, ^asl that momeni can never arrive The whole is 
liftlc bettor than a Acam. a beautiful pbantem of the imaginatKA Ihese 
'gcrgeotis palaces' of bappinoss aod immcriality, (best 'solemn 


T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS < 170S I 

temples' of ciftti a&d vinue «iU diMolve. ‘liKo the baseless fabtie of a 
visten', sriKO awaKcfi lo real lift and eooiemplaie the true and 
genuine siiuauofi of man oo earth Mr CodMO, at tbe eooclusion of the 
third chapter of his eighth book, npcaking of populaiion. aays' 

UKrc IS a principle in humao society, by tvtuch population is 
perpertially kept dowo lo the level of ihe means of ssibtistenct Hius 
among the tvandering inbes of America and Asia, we never fuid 
through the lapse of ages that popubtion has so loctcased as lo render 
necessary the cultivaDon of the earth. 

Hiis principle, which Mr Codtvin thus mentions as sortie 
mysterious aiwl occult cause aod ahich he does not attempt to 
lovcsiigaie. will be found to M the gtuidiog bt* of oecessity, misery, 
and the hat of misery. 

Hw great error uodet which Mr Godwio labours throughout his 
Mule v>ork is the attnbutmg almost all the vicas and misary that ase 
seeo 10 civil sccieiy to humao instuiiucru Political regulaiuns aod the 
established atfetilnistraucn of property are Mth hun the fruufiil sources 
of all evil, the hotbeds of all the enmes that degrade mankuid Woe 
this really a true state of ihe case, it would not seem a hopeless lask to 
remove evil compleiely from the world, and reasoo seems lo be the 
proper and adMuaic instiumeot fer efftciiog so great a purpose But the 
cuih IS. that though humaci institutions appear lo be the obvious and 
obtrusive causes of much mischief to mankind, yet in reality they are 
light and superficial, they are mere ftathers that float on the surface, in 
ccmparisoo with ih» deeper seated causes of impurity that conupi the 
spruigs and render turbid the whole stream of humao lift 

Mr Godwin, a his chapter oo the beeeflts attendant cn a system of 
equality, says' 

Hw spirit of oppression, the spirit of servility, and the spini of 
fiaiid, these are ihe immediate giosMh of the established adminisiraiion 
of prepeny They are alike hostile to intellectual improvement The 
other vices of envy, malice, and revenge are iheit inseparable 
ccmpanions In a state of society where mm lived in ihe midst of 
plenty and where all shared alka the bounties of nasurc. these 
sentunents would inevitably expire. The narrow principle of selfishness 
would vanish No man tcing obliged lo guard hss hole store or provide 
with aoueiy and pain for his restless wanis, each would lux his 
individual existmce in the thought of the general gcud No man would 
be an enemy to his neighbour, for they would have no suCgxct of 
cemenuen. and. of cense^umee, philanthropy would resume the 
empire wtudi rejscri assipis her. blind would be delivered frem her 
pxrpetual anuny about corporal support and As* to eipatiaie in the 


CauuU(ion>of( luiiwUCensio, 

Alt Eitay on F‘upti!aiinn 


field of thougbt, mIucI) i« coogaual to her Eecb xvould e&&jsi flte 
iciquirjes of all 

Utii would, ittdetd, be a bappy aiaie Bui dui H la metrly an 
jma^naty pjcure, sudi «cj(ctl; a Kanire near the mjih. the rea^. I 
an afraid, is already uo well convinced 

Man caooot live lo ibe nedat of plenty. All cannoi diare alka (be 
boufiuet of nauc Were there no e^iabliehed adinuijairaiioo of 
ptoc<*<> every mao svoiJd be obliged lo guard widi force his linle 
More Selfialuwas; would be irjumpbanL Tbe suCgecis of eofiicmioo 
would tc pctpruial Every individual mod svcnJd be undei a conMani 
aniiety abvjt corporal euppon. aod na a single intelkd svould te lefl 
free (o eipaiiate lo die field of thought 

How hnle Mr Gedsun has (umed die artenuon of bis pcoeiratng 
miod 10 die real stale of man on earth will sufficicoily appear from (be 
manner in which he endeavours to remove ihc dfficiiUy of an 
overcharged populauoo. He saya; 

Ihe obvious aoswer (o diia objection, is. ihai to reuoo thus is to 
foresee difficulties ai a greai distance Hiree founhs of (be habiiable 
globe IS now unctiluvaied Ihe pans already niliivaied are capable of 
imneasuraUc improvement Myriads of centuries of still locreasuig 
populaiioo may pass away, and (be cailh be stiO found sufficient for the 
subsistence of its inhabKants. 

t have already poioicd oui the error of supposiog ihai no distress 
and difficulty would arise from an overcharged population before Ihe 
earth absolutely refused lo produce any more But lei us imagine for a 
moment Mr Godwin's beauuful system of equality realized in its 
utmost punty, and see bow soon this difflcuhy migbi be expected to 
press isider so perfect a fem of sociaiy. A theory tbai will not admit of 
application caonot possibly be just 

us suppose all the causes of misety and vice in this islasd 
removed. War and cooienuon cease Uewholesome trades and 
manufactories do nee erist Crowds no Icnger colicci logctbcr in great 
and pcsiilcoi cuics fer purposes of coun leingue, of commerce, aod 
vicious grauficauens. Simple, heahhy, and raiiooal amusemems lakte 
place of linking, gam ing, and d^uchery 'Ihere are no towns 
sufficienily large to bave any prejudicial effects on the buman 
cciuutution Tbe greata part of the happy lebabitants of this letiesinal 
paradise live in hamlets and famhouses scattered over the &ct of the 
country Every house is clean, any, sufficiently roomy, and in a bcalihy 
siiuauon All men are equal. 'Hie labours of luxury are at eod. Aed tbe 
iiecesaary labours of agriculture arc shared amicably ameng all Tbe 
number of persons, aodthe produce of the island, we suppose to be the 
same as at presenc 'Ihe spirit of benevolence, guided by impartial 

Pirp (aiMM (acl le&i haul ifkurA YiM i 


T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 417081 

justice, mH divule diis pfodun Jinodj all ific tnembctt nl ihe aociei; 
sctutdittg 10 dicif «afi(a UKaigh ji \*ould be unposMblc lhai dicy 
should all bjve aniiiul food <veiy day, vegrtabk food, widi meal 
occaaofially, would iSUifj ihe deWn of a fhjgaJ people aod would be 
sufficMniio prearve iben a haalth, sueogih, jiid spitus. 

Mt Godwin eoosidetf marriage as a fraud and a moocpoly Let us 
suppose tlM commerce ol die seaes aaiablished upon priociples of the 
most perfete freedom Mr Godwin does nor ibink: himself dial this 
fieedem would lead lo a promiscuous intercourse, and ie ihi< I 
perfocily agree widi him Hie love of variety is a vicious, ccmips, and 
UAJiatisal latte aod could noi prevail in anygreai degree ui a sunple and 
virruous siaie of sociery. Each man would probably select himself a 
paruet, lo suborn be would adhere as long as ihai adlierenee condoned 
10 be the choice of both paniat li would be of link conscdueocc. 
according lo Ur Godwin, how maoy cbildrcti a weman had or to whan 
ibey belcriged. Provisions and assitiaoce would spootaneously Cow 
from ihe 4 |uaner in which they abounded, lo ibe quarter that was 
dcficieni (See Ek vni, ch. 8: in ihe third ediuen, Vol II. p S12) And 
every man would be ready to foreidi inssuciioo u> the rising gsneraiicn 
according ID his copacuy 

t cannot conceive a form of society so favourable upoo ibe whole 
10 populaiKA Ihe irremediablcnest of mamage. as ii is at preseru 
ccnmuitcd. uodoubtedly deters many from enteriog into that stale. An 
unihacUed intercourse cn the cooirary would tc a most powerftJ 
ificiiament to early artaduiunts, and as wc are supposing oo anxiety 
abcvi the hiiurc support of cbiUfccti to exisi, I do not coocoive that dure 
would be crie woman in a buodred. of iwenty>thrae, without a fomily. 

With tbeix ctiraivdeiary eocoutagemeeiis to population, and every 
cause of depopulatioo. as we have supposed, removed, the numtors 
would necessarily uicrease foster thao in aey society tbai has ever yet 
bceo known I have menticncd. cn the auihonty of a pamphlet 
puUitbed by a > Siyks and referred to by Di PTicx, dttt the 
lobabitants i^ the back settlements of America doublad their oumtors 
ici fifteen years Eogland is certainly a more healthy couoiry than tbe 
back setilements of America, and as we have supposed every house in 
tbe island to tc airy and wholesome, and the tneouragements to have a 
fomily greater even iban wiib the back setilets, no probable reasoo can 
be assigned why ibe popuJaiioo should net double iisdf lo Ins, if 
possible, than fifieen years But to be quite sure that we do not go 
bcytnd the tnoh, we will only suppose the period of doubliog lo be 
iwenry>ftve years, a ratio of increase which is well blown to have taken 
place throughout all the Noahem States of America 


FOvadiiiontofC IsiiuilCenaio, 

Alt Eisav riH F‘upt'laiinn 


Hkk can M Uiilc doubi ihst ibc cqiulaaiioA of ptcfcny whicb \*e 
have flipped, added to die c*ciiJiuiafic< of the labour of dw v>tiole 
ccnunujuiy being direcud chiafly lo agruulture, xvould lend greatly to 
augmeot die produce of ibe country But lo aonuet the demands; of a 
pofMilaiioo increa&ing ao rapidly. Mi CodMo's calculaiioo of half an 
hour a Ay for cacti tnan would cenamly not be uifficienL It la probable 
(bai the half of every man'a tune nuiat tc employed for ibia purpose 
Yet Mih such, u much greater eieruons, a petaon who is acquainted 
with the natise of the aoil lo ihia eouniry, and mIio reflects oo ihe 
fertility of the lands already in cuhivatioo, and die barrenness of those 
(bat are not culuvaied, will be very much disposed lo dcsibi ubcdier ihe 
Mlule average produce could poaaibly t* doubled in tweruy*five years 
flom the pecseni period Hic cnly chaoce of success would be ibe 
ploughieg up aJI ihe grazing couniiiea aod putueg ao eod alrtion 
entirely to ibe use of animal food. Yet a part of diis sebeme nii^t 
Afeat Itself Hie soil of Qigland will not produce much widioui 
Acsaing. and cattle seem in be oeceaaary lo make that species of 
manure Mhich best suua the land In China ii is said diat the sod in 
some of the provinces is so ferule as lo produce two crops of rice in ibe 
year wiiboui dressiog. None of die laods in Eogland will answer lo this 

Difficult, however, as it might be (o double the average produce of 
(be island id twenty-five years, lei us suppose it effected. At die 
eepiraiioo of the firsi period ibetribre. the food, though almosi csmrely 
vegetable would be sufficieni to support lo health ibe doubled 
populatioo of fourieen mlllioos. 

During the nen peticd of doubling, where wdl the food be fouod 
(o satisfy the unporuinate demaods of ibe incteasiog numbers? Whae 
II the flesh land to turn iqi^ Where is ibe Aessjig necessary to improve 
(bat which is already in culuvaiicn' 'Diete is oo persoo with die 
smaJesi biowicdgc of laod but would say ihai it was impossible ibat 
(be average produce of die country could te increased during (he 
secood iwenfy-five years by a quantity equal lo wbat ii at present 
yields. Yei we will this loctease, however improlublo, to (aktc 

place Ihe exuberant sircogih of the argument allows of almosi any 
ccncessioo. Even with ibis concession, however, dure would be seven 
millions ai die cxpuaiion of ibe second term unprovided for A quantity 
of food equal lo the flugal support of iwenty-cne milUoes, would be to 
be divided amoogiwcnty-eighi millicns 

Alas' wbat becomes of the picture where men lived in the mida of 
plenty, where no man was obliged (o provide with anxiety and pain for 
his restless wants, where the narrow prioaple of selfuhness did noi 
cxiai. where Miod was delivered from her perp<iuaJ anueiy at«aii 

PIrsi (aiMM Ixl Jotw^ laSi haul sCkirAYwd. Laotij*. 

T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 4170S I 


cctporsi 94jpf)on acid £r«c to npaujtc lo die field oi ifiougbi «hid) \i 
ccAgenjal (o bef Hua bmiufti] fabric of imsjirtaiiai vanidin ai ihe 
severe loudi of (ruth llw spint of bertrvolmce, durifhed and 
jovigtfsied by pleniy, is represard by ibe dulluig breaib of svaoi 'Tlw 
hstrfu) passjooa thai bad vanished reappear. Ihe mighry law oi self* 
ptnetvauoA expd« all the aofter and tncre nailed emceiooa of tbe soul 
Hie ieinp(aiJOoa lo evil are loo iiroos ftf huinaci nature lo resist Tbe 
cern IS plucked beftfc n is npe, or lecretad in leifaii proponions, and 
(be dhole black iraui of viees (hat tclcng lo falsehood are immedately 
^enctaied Provisiofu eo looger flow in for (he auppon of tbe modier 
wiih a large family Hie ehiUkeo are sicUy fiem insuScieeu food The 
i^y flush of health gives pbet lo the pallid ebeek and hollow eye of 
misery Beoevolence. yet liogcring in a fet* t«soma, tnahas sane ^ini 
expuing struggles, nil ai length self>love resumes bis wonted empire 
and lords n triumphaen over the world 

No hurtian lOsiiKioons here eiisted, to the perverseness of which 
Ml Godwin asciibes the original sio of (be suoin men (Ek Vin, cb 
ifi (be ibsd ediuoo, Vol. n. p 462) No opposmon had toen picduced 
by ihem betwceo public and private go^ No nmupoly bad teen 
creased of (hose advaoiagcs sshich reason directs lo be left in comitioo 
No man had tceo goaded to (he t^ach of order by unjusi laws 
Benevolence bad established bet reign lo all heans aod yet lo so shon 
a period as widiio Cfiy years, violeect, oppressioo. ^Is^ocd, misary, 
every hateful vice, and every fom of distress, which degrade and 
sodden (he prescei state of society, seem to have teen geoerated by ilie 
most imperious circumstances, by laws inhermi in the oaiure of mao. 
and absolutely indepcndeoi of it human regulatieru 

tf we are noi yet too well coovtoetd of ibe reality of this 
me la ocholy picture, let us but look for a moment mto (be eext period of 
(wenty>f)ve years: and we shall see rw(niy>eiglii millions of human 
beings without the means of support, and b^eee the eooclusion of the 
first century, the populauen would M cne hundred aod twelve miUioos, 
and the only sufficient for thirty^five millions, leaving seventy* 
seven milliciu unprovided for In these ages want would t< indeed 
(rumipbant and rapine and misdei must reign at large aod yei all this 
(srae we arc supposing the produce of the earth absolutely mlimited. 
and (be yearly increase grcaia than the toldest speculator can onagme. 

This IS undoubtedly a very different view of the difficulty arisuig 
from population from that which Mr Godwin gives, when he says, 
'Mynads of centuries of siill inaeasing populauoo may pass away, and 
(be earthte sull found suflicient for the subsistence of its inhatsianis.' 

t am suffiaently aware (bat the redundant tweniy*eigh( millions, or 
seveniy*s«vcn mslbons, that I have mentioned, could never have 

eLiCTacdff'&CHia.oiLv maLeiHiws 

FOuadiitontofC luiitfilCsnai» 

Alt Eisav riH F‘uptilaiinn 

6 ) 

exiMd li J9 a perfecilyjust obssvauoo of Mt Godwin, dut 'Tlim is a 
pfUKipk in human sociei;, by which populaiKii i« p«rpciislly kept 
down u> dw kvH of die means of subsieucict' Tlie sole qiseeiion is. 
whai If this prnciple? i« ii some ohsnife aod ccnili caused I< it some 
myeutiois interfetenct of heaven whicb. at a certain penod. sinttn Ihe 
men with impoteece, and the women widi barrennese? Or i« it a cause. 
Often to our rtsxarches, wiifiin our view, a cause, which bas coonacitly 
bceo observed lo operaic, though widi varied force, in every naie in 
which man has teen placed’ Is ii not a degree of misery, die oecessary 
and loevitabJc result of ibe laws of natise, which bumaci Asnuiicfis, so 
^ ficsn aggravating, have tended eoosidcraUy to mitigate, though they 
never cao renwe^ 

h may be curious lo observe, lo the case that we have been 
supposiog, bow some of the laws wtiidi at praseoi govern civilized 
society, would be successively diciaied by the most imperious 
necesssiy. As man, aetotding to Mr Godwio. is the creature of Ihe 
impressions to which he is subject, the goadiogs of waen could not 
centinue Icng, before sona violations of public cr private stock: wculd 
necessarily ia}ic place As these violations incrca^ in number and 
cxteoi, the more active aod comprehensive loiellecis of the society 
would socA perceive, that while populauoo was fast mcresang, the 
yearly produce of the country would shortly begio to dimiensh Ihe 
urgency of the case would suggest the twcessiiy of some mediaie 
meisurts lo be laken ki die general safety Some Uod of coovention 
would dun be called, and the dangerous Situation of the country stared 
ifi the strongest terms. It would be observed, that while they lived in the 
midst of plenty, ii was of little coosequenee who laboured die least or 
who possessed the least, as every man was perfectly willing arvl ready 
to supply the staois of his nei^bour But that dw question was no 
looge whether ooe man should give to aoother ibai which be did nee 
use himself, but whether he should give to his neighbour the food 
which was absolifiely oecessary to his own exisience. It would be 
represented, diai the Dumber of those that were lo waet very grcaily 
exceeded the number aod means of those who should supply them, that 
these pressing waets, which from the siaie of the produce of the country 
could not all be gratified, had occasioned some flagrant violaiicns of 
justice; that these violatioes had already chcckicd the increase of food, 
and would, if they stare not by some means or other prevented, throw 
the whole community to ccnfusicn: that imperious necessity seemed to 
dictate that a yearly increase of produce should, if possible, be obtained 
at all events; that in erder to effect this firsi, ^eat. and indispensable 
purpose. It would be advisable to malie a more conpletc division of 

PIm (aiMM Ixl JoAii^ wh Paul tCkir^Ywd. Laotija. 


T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 4170S I 

land, and to ««cure evety maci's stock against violation by ibc tno«i 
powstftj sanciiofu, cvco b; death jiadf. 

ti migbt be uged pcsltaps by some obgeciora that, as ibe Senility of 
(be land jcicieaMd, and vanous accHkois cicciified, the share of some 
men might t< mudi more ihan sufhcient for their suppert, aod (hat 
Mlwei (he reign of sxlMoce «>as once esiabliibed, they tvould not 
djaiTjbuieihea sivplx^ produce suthottt <omc compeosation in kud It 
would be observed, in anssuer. that (bis was ao incoovenicnee greatly to 
be lamented, bui that it was an evil which bore no ccenparisoo to the 
black (ram of disuesaes that would inevitably be occaaiooed by the 
insecurity of proficnyi that the quantity of fc««l which ooe man could 
censume was necessarily limited by (be nanow capacity of (be human 
stomach, that ii was not certainly probable that he dutild throw away 
(be rest, but that even if he exchanged hia surplus food Ui the labour of 
others, and made them in sane degree depcndeiu cn him, this would 
still be better than that these others should ebsolutely starve 

ti seems highly prebebU. dusefere, that an adnmistraiion of 
property, not very different from that which prevails in civilised states 
at present would be established, as the best though inadequate, remedy 
fer the evils which were pressing on the society 

Ihe next suCgcct (bat would come undff discussion, intimately 
ccnnected with (be preceding, is ihe ccnunarct between the sexes It 
would be urged by those who had (umed (beir auenuoo to the true 
cause of the difficuliies under which the cemmunity laboured, that 
while every mao felt secure (bat all hiscbiUfcen would be well provided 
fer by general benevolence, the powers of the earth would be 
absolutely inadequate to produce food for the pcpulaticn which would 
inevitably ensue: that even if (be whole atteiuon and labour of the 
society were directed to this sole point, aod if. by (he moat perfect 
security of property, and every other eoeotirajemeot that could be 
(bought of. the neatest possible increase of produce were yearly 
obtained, yet suO, that (be mcreaix of food would by no means keep 
pace with the much more rapid inaease of population, (bat some dwok 
to pcpulaticA therefore was impenously called for, (bat the moai naiural 
and obvious check seemed to be to make every man provide fu his 
own chilAen, that this would operate in some respect as a measure and 
guide in (be increase of pcpulancn, as u might be expected that no man 
would bring beings into the world, for whom be could nee find (be 
means of support! that where this ncewiihstanding was the case, it 
seemed necessary, for the example of others, that the disgrace and 
inociivcnience attending such a ocnduci should fall upen (be indtvidusl. 
who had thus inconsiderately plunged bimtalf and innoctni children in 
misery and want 

eLimtCdf &CHrA.xflLV pueitSHIWS 

CovadiiiontofC luiiwHCensio. 

Ajt Eifov nn F‘upttlannn 


Hk ittnjQJtKA of marruge, or ai leaii, ol annx extras ot implied 
oUigauoo oil evety nun lo suppon bis o\*ci ebildren, SMins to be ihe 
ftttanl Kvuli of (h«e KaMniogs a a commuent; uewkt itw difficulUe 
(bai \*e bave wpposed 

Hw ’•It* oi Ibex djfflculius preMAii; us wnh a very nauiral cngA 
of Uk supeftor diagrace suliKb anends a breadi of cbaaifi; a flie 
womao III Ihe mao Ii could ooi tc cipettcd dial suomen should 
have resoufcv sufTKiesii lo auppcn ibeii ov*ii diilsbes. When (berefcre 
a sucenaci v*as conoecied Mtb a man, wbo bad entered into no compact 
to majoujn bet ebildreti, aod, atvare of the ineotivenienccs; ihai be 
might bnog upoo himtdf, had desencd her, iheae children mua 
nectssarjly fall lor support upcn the society, ot starve And lo prevent 
(be frequeet tecivraiee of such ao UKonvetutnce, aa u t*ould tc bigbl; 
(A>(isi to pufusi) so natwal a fault by ptrsooal ressauii or inflieiicn. (be 
man might agree lopmsb i( suiih dis^ace. Hw offence la besides mere 
obvious and conspicuous in the woman, aod less liable (o an; misiake 
Hie ^iher of a child may not always be ktnotvn, bui die sane 
(inccttaAty cannot easily exist wiib regard to the mother ^Mictc (he 
evidanee of tbe oflenee tvas most complete, aivf (he loconvenicect to 
tbe society at tbe same one (he greaiesi, (here M t*as agreed ibat (he 
large share of blame should ^11 Hie obligaiion oo every man to 
mauitoA his children, die society tvnuld enforce, if there t*ete 
occasion, aod the greater degree of incoovenienee or latour. to which a 
&niily would necessarily sub|ect him. added to some ponion of 
disgrace wtudi every humao bamg must incur who leads ancehcr into 
(inhapiNness, might be considered as a sufficient punidiment for the 

Hiat a woman should at present be almost driven from society ftf 
an offeoct which men commit nearly with impunity, seems to be 
undoubtedly a C^ach of natural justice. But (he origio of the cits(om, as 
(be most Mvicks and effectual method of preventiog the ffequeit 
recurrence of a serious loconvenieoct to a commueiiy, appears (o be 
natunl, though eot peshaps perfectly justifiable Hus crigm, hosuever. 
II oow los( ui the oew oaio of ideas which the custom has since 
gcneraied 'Miai at first might be dictated by state necessity is now 
supported by female delicacy, aod operates with ibe grcaicsi force on 
that part of society where, if ihe criginal lotcniicn of die custom were 
preserved, there is the least real occasion for u. 

^Mien dietc two fuodamcntal laws of society, the security of 
propesty, and die instituuon of marriage, were once establisliad, 
loequality of conditions must necessarily follow. Those who were bom 
after the division of property would ceme into a world already 
possessed If lhair parents, from having too large a ^mily, could net 

Plm fttMcC (acl la Si haul sClurA YiM i 

T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 4170S I 

give ihem suiTjcjettt for Skit «uppon. v*tui Jte Otey to do in a vvorld 
Mlwre ev<i><hifig i« opprofnated^ Wc have seen itw faia] effects ihoi 
wouJd result lo a society, if every man had a valid daim to ao equal 
share of the prcduce of the earth Ihc inemtcrs of a family wbieh vas 
giosvn (oo large foe die origieial divisioo of land appropnaied lo M eould 
IK* then detnaod a pan of tbe ^iirplua produce of oihara, as a debt of 
justice. It has affcared, that fion die ineviiablc laws of out natise 
some buman beings mua suffer ficm i*ani llieae are the iiohapp; 
ptrsoos v>tio, ui (be gieai lottery of life, have drawn a blank Tbe 
number of these elaunams would scon cieeed tbe abilify of tbe surplus 
produce to supply. Mval mem is a very difficult disnnguuhing 
cnierion, excepi in ciireme cases Hie oweers of surplus produce 
would A general seek some mere obvious mark of disunctioe Asd it 
seems both natural aodjust ibai, cacepi upoo parocular occasicru, their 
choice should faJ upon diose who were able, aod professed ihemselves 
willing, to exen thnr strength in procuring a fiir^r surplus produce: 
and thus ai ctkc benefiting the community, aod roabling these 
ptopnctocs to afford assistance lo gieatet eumbeis All who were ui 
wacii of feed would be urged by impaious nectssiiy to offer tbeir 
latoui in exchange for (bis amcle so absolutely tsseoiiaJ to eiisteoct 
The fund appropnaied lo the maintenance ttf labour would be the 
aggregate quasuty of food possessed by the owners of land beyood 
(beu own coosumpuon ^Mics the demands upon this fuod sverc great 
and oumetous, it would oaturally be divided lO very small shares 
labour would be ill peid Men svould offer to work for a bare 
subsistence, aod the rearing of familias would te checked by sickness 
and misery On the concary, when (bis fuod was lecteasing fast, when 
II was grcai in propomoo to (be number of daunama, M would be 
divided in much larger shares No man would erchaege his labour 
wiihoui receiviog an ample quanoiy of food ui reiun. Labourers svould 
live A ease aod comftfV and would consequently be able to rear a 
niAicfous and vigorous offspruig 

On (he state of ibis fund. Ihe bappioess, cr the degree of misery, 
ptevailieg atneng the lower classes of people a every known state at 
present diiefly depends And on (bis happiocss, cr degree of misery, 
depends the inaease, siatlonaruvess, cr decrease of populauoo. 

And (bus ii appears, that a society cnnstituied accordiog to the 
most tcautifiil form that imagiciaiioo can conceive, with tcnevolsnce 
fer us moving pruictplc, uistcad of selMovc, and with every evil 
disposition in all us memtors corrected by reasen and not force, would, 
from the inevitable laws of eature, aod eot from any otiguial depravity 
of man, a a vary short period degeoeraie Ato a society ccrutrucicd 
upon a plan not essentially different from that which prevails to every 

eLimicuirgCH<e.xSLv meieiHiws 

CouadsiiontofC laiiwUCensio, 

Ajt Essay nn F‘upti!imnn 


k5toim Male ai ptnenc I meat), a aociety div)ded into a cbs« of 
pfoorieuca, aod adaas of labourers, aod with idMove the nain'Sprifig 
of ifie grcai iiuebioe 

(n the luppouUoo I have nude, I bavc ondoubtedly taken the 
jecreaae of populaiicn utiaJlef, and the increaae of ptoJoce gieaiet, 
(ban ibey realty woold be No iea«CA een be aaajgoed Mliy, under ibe 
cucunuiaiicea I have 4uppo«ed. populaucn should not jociease ^eier 
(ban in aoy knosvn inMance If then ve were lo take ihe period of 
doubling ai fifteen yeata, inrteMi of (weoiy*fjve yearr, and refkei upon 
(be labour oecevrary lo double ihc produce in ro abort a unvi, even if 
we allosv ii posMbta, we may venture to pronoufice with eertainiy (hat if 
Mr GodMo'a ryriem of socieiy suaa eruUKhed m its utmoM 
porfcciion, inrUMl of myriadr of ceoiurias, not ibiny yearr could elapse 
before ita utter dcatnieiicn from (be simple priociplc of populaiion 

t have taken no ooiiee of emigraiioo for obvious reascsis If sueh 
aocietiar sucre intUiutcd in otbet parts of Europe, these counines suculd 
be under the same difficulties with regard to populaiioo. and could 
admit no Cred) members inio their bosoms If this beairiifitl society 
were ccnfined to (his isJaiwl it man have degenerated rsafigely fresit 
ns original purity, aod administer but a very tmsil portloo of the 
happiness it proposed; in abort, its estentlal psuKipU must be 
ccsnpictely denroyed, befese any of ita memhars would voluntarily 
ccAseoi to leave it, and live under such governments as at present enn 
le Europe, or submit to tbe extreme hardships of Titm settlers io new 
regions We suell know, from repealed cipericnct. bow much misery 
and hardship nun will undergo in ihcr own country, before they cao 
determioc lo desert it; and how often the m^ tempneg prcpnHals of 
cmberkiog ftf new anlcmeois bavc been rejected by people who 
appeared to be almoM starving 

Pirp (aiswe Ixl la haul i ClurA.YiM i 


Mf tht ^Whrf eMftfvffon f>f fh^ 

p^uf>f( MvfVM ^t€ KVf • epp^fM fffU9vii /v ufch e 

CCf^^<Uf9 * ra^iM of tCVt 40# MOWSW^ AMdr HffA /MtfVI 0^ 

W£ Have Mft Goowir/*^ iVmM c( iociay ctfvce 

ccgnplctely ntabli«h?d Bin n \s suppo&ici j an impossjbiliTy Tlie fame 
cause in oaiue taltich 'uouJd devoy it so rapidly, were ii cnce 
cstabtiihed, would preveoi the pnesibjliiy of its <«i^i4uncnt And 
upon whai grouoda we can peesume a change in ihcv natisal causes, I 
am uitetly ai a los lo coniecuifc No move lowards the eunnctKA of 
(be passjoo tciween ibe sexes has (akeo place lo the five cr «a 
(bousand years that the wcrld has existed Men io the decline of life 
have in all ages declainwd agamsi a passion wbicb ihey have ceased to 
feel, but with as UiUe teasen as suctvss Tbose vdio Iron oddness of 
CCAsii(uttonal temperafoent have never fell whai love is, will surely be 
allowed to be very incompetent judges with regard to die power of this 
passion locooiribute to the sum of pleasisable serustioru in Ufie lliose 
who have spent then youth in criminal excesses and have prepared ftf 
(beinselves, as the cesnfons of dicir age. corpereal debility aod menial 
remvse may well inveigh agalost sudi pleasures as vain aod futile, and 
unprodiKtive of lasiing satisfaction. Bui ibe pleasures of pure love wall 
bear die contemplation of ibe most impeoved rc&soo. and the most 
exalted virtue Perhaps ihete is scarcely a man wlu has cnce 
experienced the geniuoc drligbt of virtuous lovr, however greai his 
loiellectual pleasure may have been, that dots not loot hack to ihe 
period as die sunny spot m his wlule lift, where his unagination loves 
IO bask, which he rccollccis and cootrmplaies with the fondest regrris, 
and which he would most wish to live over again The supeticnty of 
ifiiellectual to sensual pleasures ccasisis rather in dies filling up mere 
lirar, in die* having a larger range, aod in ihcir tting less liable to 
satiety, than io dicir being more real aod essenual. 


Alt Eisav riH F‘uptilimnn 


Inutnperafict it* <v«ry cttjoymctti deftaii H« owt purpose A stalk 
ici ihc fificn <lsy through flte moei tcauufy counny, if puisued too far. 
ends ici psA and Ihe mosi «hole<onie and invigceaucig food, 

eaicn s*iih ao iBwesirairwd appcuic, peodiicn «caknaas instead of 
siiengih Esen intellectual pleasures, (bougb cenainly less liable than 
others to sstiet;, pursued svidi too linic Atentnssion, debilitate (he 
body, and impair die vigour of die nued. To argue against ihe reality oi 
(hose pleasures from (heir abuse seems to be hardly just Moraluy, 
according lo Mr Codstin, is a calculation of conse4ueeic<s, or, as 
Ardideaccn PaJey very justly esptesses it. the ssiU of Gcd, as coliccied 
from general expediency According uv eidier of ihea dcfiniuoes, a 
sensual pleasure not attended with die probability of unhappy 
ccruMuenccs does not offend agaiost dw laws of ntoraJity, and if it be 
pursued with such a dc^cc of temperance aa to leave ihe most ample 
roent for lotrllectual atiainnutits, ii must undoubtedly add to ihe sum of 
pleasurable senssoons in life Virtuous love, exalted by fhcndship, 
seems lo be ihat stfi of mUtise of sensual and lotellectual enjoymesu 
parocularly suited to dw nature of man. and most poweritilly caJculated 
to awaken dw sympathies of the soul, and product the most exquisite 
p all fi cat ions, 

Mr GodwA says, a order to shew dw evident Afericrtty of the 
pleasurts of sense. 'Strip the ccmmerce of the sein of all us atirtiAnt 
circumsianen, aod it su^d be generaJy despised' lEk I. ch 5: in the 
(bird cdiuon. Vd. I, pp 71*72) He might as suell say to a man who 
admired trees' strip them of their spreading branches aod lovely foliage, 
and sthai bcauiy can you set in a bare pole? Bui ii was Ihe tree with the 
brandws and foliage, and not stnihoui them, that excited admirattoe 
One fcaiise of an ob}eci may tc as disunct, and excite as different 
emettoos, from dw aggregate as any itvo thuigs dw most remoie, as a 
beautiful woman, aod a map of Madagascar. It is 'the symmetry of 
persoo. the vivacity, the voluptuous softness of temper, the affectionate 
kiodiess of feelings, the imagination and the wu' of a woman that 
excite the passion of love, and ooi dw mere disiAciicn of her beuig 
female Urged by the passion of love, men have beta diven into acts 
highly prejudwial lo the jeoeral loietesis of sociAy, but probebly they 
would have fnuod no difficulty in resisting the lempiaiicA, had M 
appeared in (he fWm of a nomae with oocehcr aitracticru; whatever but 
her sea. To stnp seosuaJ pleasures of aO ihctr adjiiocts, in order to 
prove theit infenoriiy, is to depnvc a magoct of sonw of iis most 
essential causes of aiiracucn, and dico to say that it is weak and 

(n the pursuit of every enjoyment, whether seosual or uuellecnial, 
teasers, that faculty which enables us to calculate ccrssepuenccs, is the 

Pirp fwtMcC (acl JoAa^ix la & Paul i Clur^YiM i 


T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS < 1708) 

pfopet corrective and guide. It it probable iherefoec Uiai improved 
teatcA wj)l always teod to peevefii (fic abuse of tensual pleuwet. 
ttough H b; 00 means follows ibai n will cxiinguub them 

I have eodeavoued to expose ihe faJxy of (hat argumeiK wbieh 
joftrs an isilimitcd ptogtest £rom a penial improvcmtoi tlK luniK of 
wbich cannea be exactly aactnaincd b bas appeased, I ibiok:. (ha( ibete 
are many instances a wbidi a deaded ptogsess hat teen observed, 
where yet n would be a groat absiddny lo tuppoa ihai progress 
lodcfinite But towasda die exiincticn of (ha passion beiweeo ibe sexet, 
no observable progress whatever bas hitherto been nude. To suppose 
such an eTiincDon, (berefate, it merely to offer an imfounded 
ccAjeetuie, uosupponed by aoyphilotophieal probabilltiet. 

ti i» a (fttfh, wbidi history I am aftaid maket too clear, thai some 
men of the highest meoial powers have beeo addicted not only lo a 
moderate, but even to an immoderaK mdulgcnee a the pleasuret of 
sensual love But allowing, it I thouUJ be incluicd to do, 
notwiih Sian ding emnerous losiancet to the contrary, that great 
iDiellcctual exerdoos (end to dmunith the empire of this passioo over 
man. it is evident that the mats of maoUad mutt t< improved mere 
highly thaci the trightest ernamenis of the tpeties at preseot before any 
difference can lake place tufheient sensibly to afftet population I 
would by no meant suppote that (be mast of mankind has reacbed ns 
(crm of improvement but the pdneipal argument of this ettay tends to 
place ui a ttreng p«ini of view tbe utiprolnbiliiy that the lower classes 
of people in any country should ever M sufficiently fra from want and 
labour to obtain any high degree of iniellecnial improvement 


FWaduioni of Olaiitf U Censio. 


Mf ccf^fcfuft cofiCt/TiVti pfo^<vffcfi(Vf of 

* tiupf^tr tf/VHn fr^m W 

A4nHteU W MmAff ffwa* 2UtOf^td tn vMMif 
Ccff^tttuw vf /pfctfftf ^ JtiK^ftcnf iH ihf pafi ff> be 
ccfUidefed ^ pkfiMOfiMnfi <vtijectt<ets i4r Wr 

Ccf^orct(*s e^wijectf^ ftipecftt^ (he eppff>e<h ^ jwr 
W¥boefeU^ cfi MTlfr. e mnav: tnsuw^e of the e%e<e^peecy of 


Mk CnowiN’s cOMifiCTLiiE inpcctiitg ihe {Uuifc spproKb nan 
lowajd* nunonaUiy on canti «« 0 iu lo be rsihct cddly placed id a 
cbapis mIucI) profetM« (o remove Uie objectKit lo hit ayMem of 
e^uaJit; from ihe ptAcipk of populauon Unlcas he auppnaea Uie 
psssum be<v*c<o ihc aeana u> deemee ^«ter dun die dutauoo of life 
lecresaea, die esnb i*ould be mere cficumtcred dun ever But leavui£ 
(bia difficiiJiy u> Mr Codv*io, let ut eiamioe » few of the appearoneea 
fion) which (be prchable imntfia]it>' of nan is inferred 

To prove Ae posvei of the muid over (be body. Mi Gedwin 
obaen'es' How often do we find a piece of good news ditiipaung a 
djaiempei? How eommoo it die icmarh ibM dioae aeciden(a wtudi see 
(o die uidoleAi a source of disease arc fiMgoiten and exdrpated ui (be 
busy and active? I wait: rweoiy miles Id an indoleot aod half 
dctermioed lempcr aod am excenely faugued I walkisveoiy mlea full 
of aidour. and wi(b a raouve iha( engrostet my toul. aod I come a as 
fiesh aod as alen at when I t*gan my lomey. Emoiion excited by 
some unexpeteed word, by a Icuct dial it deJiveied lo ut, occasiocit the 
most exoacrdinary revolutions ui our ftame, acoeleiaies the ciiculadon, 
causes dK bean (o palpi(a(e. die iceigdc lo refuse i(t office, and bas 
beco kfiowci to occasion deaib by eitrcnte angiusb or exneme joy 
Ihcrc IS oodiuig indeed of which dK physKian is more aware (han of 
(be power of (be mind id atsisUDger leadiog convaletcrsKe 

Ihe uisiancet here mtfiuooed are chiefly losiancet of the effects of 
mental sumilants cti the bodily fiame No person bas ever for a 


T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 4170S I 

nttmmi doubled itw ncu, iboujb mysterjoui, cooeecticA ol mind and 
body. Cm it la Jt^ng utjUy without Oiowlcdge of ihe oouijc of 
auinuUnu to suppose, either ihai (bey can be opplcd ccnuciualJy svuh 
c^uaJ sireegth, cr if they could be lo applied, fer a omc, ihei diey 
Mould na cUiausi and wear ou( die aubjcci In some of ihe cases hcfc 
ncaicad, (be s(fengih of (he aumilua depeoda upoo its novelty and 
ufKipeciedoess. Such a atuiudua cannot, frem ii« nature, be repealed 
often wiib (be aame effect, as ii Mould by repctiuoe lose tba( properly 
Mhich fives It Its airengib. 

In the other cases, (be arguineit la from a small and partial effect, 
(o a great and general effect, Mtiidi mII in numberless loaiaficea be 
fcamd 10 be a very ^llacioua mede of reasoniog. Hie busy and active 
man may in some de^ee counteract, or Mhat is pcrtiapa nearer (he 
cudu nay dtaregard those alight disorders of ftame wbidi fix (be 
anention of a man Mho has nodurig else lo think of, but this does not 
(end 10 prove that activity of mtod will eoable a man to disregard a high 
fievar. the smallpox, or (be plague 

Ihe nao who walks (Mcsity miles with a rootivc that engrosses his 
soul decs n(M auend lo his slight ^igue of body Mhcn he comes lo: tau 
double bis motive, and set bim to walk anedur rweoiy miles, quadruple 
II, aod lei hull start a third time, and so on, and die leogib of bis Malk 
will u hi mat el y depend up«n muscle and not mind Powell, for a motive 
of len guineas, su^d have walked funbet proinbly than Mr Godwin, 
fer a noovB of half a msllicn A moove of uoctHnmoo power aciuig 
upon a ftame of moderate snengib would, perhaps, make die man bO 
himself by bis etenions, but it would oot make him walk a humfted 
miles ui tsuen(y*four hours This statemeot of the case shews the fallacy 
of supposing (bat (be persoo was reaOy not at all tired in his first walk 
of isueeiy miles, tceause he did oot appear to be so, or, perhaps, 
scarcely fell any ^tigue bimself Ihe muid caonoi fts ns auemion 
sircngly on more than one object at oocc Ihc iwcnry ibousand pctinds 
so engrossed his dioughts (bai he did not aiiend lo any slight screncss 
of foot, or stiffness of limb. But bad be been really as ftesb and as alen, 
a% when he first set off. he wsauld be able to go the second isueeuy miles 
wiih as much ease as die first, aod to on, (be (bird, &c Wiieh leads lo 
a palpable absurdity ^Mien a horse of tptrii is oearly half ured, by the 
stimulus of die spur, to (Qo proper management of the bit. he may 
be pul so mueb upon lus menlc, that he would appear lo a standetby, as 
ftesh aod as high spuited as if he had not gone a mile Nay, peobably, 
(be borsc htmtelf, while in the heat aod passicfi occasiooed by (his 
stimulus, suould not feel any fatigue: but M would be soafigely connary 
to all reason aod experience, to argue from such an appearance dial, if 
(be stimulus were ccniinued, the horse would oever be tired Tbe cry of 

ptarvaonrytAatBLV meLSiHiwS 

rsuadiiiontoft luiiwUCsnsio, 

Alt Eisav riH F‘upttlaiinn 


a <^lKiUfids sull cnakc sane horses, aAcr ajounwy of fony nules 
on the toad, apco a« fresh, and a« lively, as nlieci itwy first si out 
Were ihey then to be bujued. oo percefMlble abatemeoi essuld ai firei be 
fell by their riders in ifieir arengih and spirns, t*u umards Ihe end of a 
hard day. ifie previous fauguc would have its hill weight arvl eSeca. and 
make diem lire scemer When I have taken a loog walk with my gun. 
and rtiei wsifi no success, I have fre^uenOy returned borne iRling a 
ccAsiderable degree of uneonfonabUciess from fougue Another day. 
perhaps, goAg over nesly ihc same enent of grouod wiib a good deal 
of sport I have come home fredi. and alert Ihe difference in (be 
sensaiKii of ^tigiK upon coming lo, on the diflereni days, may have 
beeo very striking, bui cn die {ollowiog mcreiogs I have found no such 
diffeteoce I have nor perceived ibai I was les stiff in my limbs, cr leas 
focaoK. on Ihe morning aAer ihe day of die sgion. ihan cn die other 

tn all (best caws, mmidanis upon the miod sem u> aci radier by 
taking off die aneotMH from die bodily faiigue, dsn by really and truly 
counieraciing it If ibe energy of ray nuod had really counieracicd (be 
&tigue of my body, why sh^d I Swl iired die nesi maenng? if (be 
siimulus of (he homds had as complexly overcesne die ^ugiK of (be 
journey in reeluy, as it did in apfiearafict, why should die hcese be iired 
sooocr ihae if he had on gene the fony miles? I happen lo have a very 
bad fit of (he (oothache ai die time I an wniing ibis In the eagerness ef 
ccenposjiion. I every oow and dien. fee a momeni or two, forget it Ye< 
t caocioi he^ ihAking thai die procese, which eaiues die pain, is siiO 
gang forwards, and dial die nerves which carry the Afontiauoe of it lo 
(be brain are even dueing these momeeis demaoding aitenticei and rocen 
fee dieir appropnaic vibrauoes The mulopbciiy of vibraiioos of 
another kind may perhaps preveeu dica admissioo. or ovoeome iham 
fer a time svhen admitud. iJI a shoot of exoaordioary energy puts aO 
other vibraune to the rout destroys the vividness of ray atguraeniative 
ccncepeioos, and rides triumphant id die Cmn Id Ihis case, as lO Ihe 
others, the mind seems to have linlc cr no power m counieracung or 
cunog ihe disorder, but merely possesses a power, if escngly escited. 
of fixing us ancotten oo other subjects 

I do not however, mean to say that a souod aod vigcrous mind has 
no lendeticy whaiever lo keep die body in a similar siau So close and 
loiimate i< the ueuon of mmd and body that ii would b< highly 
extraordinary if they did not mutually assist each other's fimeuens Bui. 
perhaps, upen a compariscn, the body has more effen upon the mied 
than the rntod upon ihe bedy 'Ihe fint objeci of the nuod is to act as 
purveyor lo the wanes of the body. When these wants are completely 
satisfied, an active nund is indeed apt to wander further, to range over 

Pirti (aiMeC Ixl Joha^w lad Paul sClur^YiM i 


T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 4170S I 

(be fields ol Kience, cr sp<n jo the regicus ol InegittaiioA. to fane; 
(bai ii has 'shuffled off tbi< tnona] coil’, and is seckjiij its Kindred 
clenxnc Bui all these cfforK are )ike the vain cxeniooa of tbe hare in 
(be faUe. 'Ihe alow); moving (ortojse, (he bod;, nrvea ^ils lo ovenaKe 
(be miod. hosvevea Mdd; and eiiensivel; it ma; have ranged, and (he 
briquet and moat ertergeiic letellects, uewillAgl; as they ma; aiiend 
(0 the firsi cr second summena, muai idiimately yield the empire of the 
braio toihe caJIa (tf bunger, or aink with (be nhauaied body in aletp 
ti seems as if one migbi sy wiih cenaini; ihai if a m^icme ooidd 
be found to immcrtaliae the body (here would te do fear of iia |noi( 
being accompanied bythe immonaJity of die mind Bui the unmonaJity 
of (be mind byno means aeems to loferihe immonaJity of the body On 
(be conirar;, (be grcaiesi conceivable energy of mind would prcbably 
exhausi and destroy (he rtiengib of (he body A icmpaaic vigour of 
mied appears to be ^vourable to bealih, but ver; great letelletuiol 
caemooa lend laiher, as has been often observed, to svear oui the 
scabbard Moat of the uisiancea which Nfe Godwin has Dougbt (o prove 
(be power of (he mmd over the body, and (be conacQuent probabilir; of 
(be immcrialfiy of man, arc of this )a(iet descripuoo, and could such 
siimulaets be continually applied, loaiead of teodiog lo immtfializc, 
(bey would teod varyiapidy lodeairoy (he human ftame 

Ihe probable lecteaae of (he voluntary power of mao over his 
animal ftame cornea nexi under Nfe Godwin's cenuderauon. and he 
ccTKludes b; saying, (hat the voluoiary power of some men. in this 
reapeci. is found to niend lo various articles lo which other men are 
impoieni. Bui this is teascning againsi an almost iniversal rule ftom a 
few escepiiona. and these eicepuons aeem lo rather incKa. than 
powers thai may tc evened lo any gcod purpose I have never beard of 
any man who could regulate bis pula id a fever, aed doubt much, if 
any of the persons here alluded lo have made (he onallasi perceptible 
progress in (he regular correciioo of (he disorders of their ftames and 
(be cona4uen( prolongaiion of their lives 

Mr Godwin says. 'Nothing can be more uepbilosophicaJ than to 
ccrvciude, that, because a certain species of power is beyond die iram of 
our present observation, (bat it is beyood the limits of the human mind' 
[ own my ideas of philosophy are in this respect widely different frem 
Mr Godwio's. Tbe only disuocuoe (bat 1 set. between a philosophical 
ccA|ec(uie, and the assenioes of (be Prophet Mr Brothers, is, that cne is 
founded upon lodications atismg from (he (ram of our present 
observauoos. and the other has no fouodaiion at all I expect (bat great 
discoveries are y«i lo take place in all die branches of human science, 
pamculatly lo (hysics: but the moment we leave past cxpetieoce as (he 
foundaiicn of our conjectures concemiog (he futwc, and, suit mere, if 

eLirTacdff'soHiA.oiLv pueieiHiws 

CavUiitontofC IsiitfUCsnsick 

Alt EifOv riH F‘upttlaiinn 


out cofijrciurts sbsoliitcl; coocsdKi p«si oxpeticttct, we irc ibrowv 
ufofi a Mde field of utvcertainry, and any one toppttjiion it tbee jusi as 
good as afiothet If a par«oo «vte lo iHI me ibai nun would ultinutel; 
have eye) and luods tcbnd ibem as svell a< tcforc ihetn, I dtould 
admit Dm useiulnass of ibe addiuon, but eltouUJ gjve as a teatcn fcr m; 
disbelief of it. that I saw oo indicaitceu wtutever in die past from which 
t could infer the smallest ptobabtUiy of such a chaogc If ihu be nee 
allowed a valid obiecunn, all coojecTwe ate alihc, and all Mually 
plulosoohica] I osvn n appeaes to me that m (be oaie of our present 
obsctvaiioos, there are no ttiorc genuine indicaiioes dui man mH 
become immortal upen earth than that he will bavc fout eyes and four 
hands, tf that trees will ^ow hcriionially instead of petpendicularly 
Cl will be said, perhaps, ihai many discoveiics have already takten 
place A the world ihai wete ictalJy unCkseseen and UMipccied This I 
giant to be true, bui if a person had predicted tbesx dtscoverias withoui 
being guided by any analogies or indicaoons ftom pest facts, he svould 
deserve the name of sees cr prcfhct, tail not of philosopbet Ihe 
wonder thai some of our medem discoverias would excite a tbe savage 
inbabitamt of Europe in the times of Theseus and Aehslles, proves tail 
little Persons almost enwely unac^uainied witb tbe posters of a 
maebine cannot be expected to guess at its eficets I am far Iran 
saying, that wv are as present by any means fully acquainted with the 
powers of the human miedt tan sve certainly know more of this 
insinimcni than was yuiown four thousand years ago; and ihereftfc, 
(bough not to be called competent judges, wv are cettaAly much tener 
able than savages to say wbai is. or is nca. witbin its grasp A waieh 
would strike a savage Mfli as much siijpnsc as a peipetual motion, yet 
one IS to us a most familiar piett of mechanism, and the otbei has 
ccrutanily eluded the efCais of ihe most acute AteOeets In many 
instances we ate now able to perceive the causes, which prevent an 
iinlimittd improvement in those inventions, which seentad to premise 
&irly for It at first. The original improvers of telesccpes would 
probably ihAk, Ihai as long as (be size of ihc specula and the length of 
(be lutes could be increased, the posters and advantages of the 
insmimeM would increase, but cipeticnce has since laiighi us, ihai flie 
smallness of the field, the deficiency of light, and the circumsiance of 
(be aimosplwre being ma^ified, prevent the beneficial resulis ibai 
were to be expected fiom lelescopes of eitraordinary size and poster 
In many pans of knowledge, man has been almost coosianily makuig 
some progiessi a other pans, his eflons have been Avariably befflcd 
Ihe savage would nee probably be able to guess at the causes of this 
mighty difference. Our further experience has given us some little 
insight into tbea causes, and has therefore cnablad us belter to |iidge, if 

Plra laiMee loil Joha^ic lab Paul i 


T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 4170S I 

iK( o( Mftai we arc lo expect lo funire, at leaai o( witu ve are not to 
expect, wltich. ihougl) negauve. it a very utefjl piece of informanoo. 

As die net«s&i(y of sleep teemt raibet lo depend upoe (be bedy 
(ban (be cnind, ii doet not appear bow tbe icnprovemcni of (be mind can 
(end very greail; lo supersede tbu 'eootpiciiout infurnMy' A man wlio 
by gKa( ((eiiemen(s oe bit miod i< able (o past iwo or three nighis 
wiihoui sleep, proponionably exhausit the vigour of his tody, and this 
diminuDon of healib aeids(r<ngih will sooe disturb (be operadont of his 
unde rsi an dog, todul by (hesc peat efftftt he appears lo have made no 
real ptogrest whatever in superseding ibe neeessiiy of ibi< spooies of 

Hierc IS cenainJy a sufficienOy marked difference lo the various 
characters of which sue bavc some knowledge, lelaove lo (be energies 
of (beii minds, (beir benevolcoi ptirsuut. e(c, lo enable ut to judge 
whether the cpcraiioos of intcllett have aoy decided effect in 
prolcnging the duration of hunun life I( is cartain that no decided 
effect of ihit kiod has yet been observed Tbougb no attention of any 
kiod has ever produced sucb an efftei at could t* eoosinicd into (be 
smallest tcmblaoca of an approach towards immonaliiy, yet of tbe iwo. 
a certain attcoticn loihe bedy teems to have mere effect in this respect 
(ban an artcniion to die mind Hic man who takes his temperate meals 
and bis bodily etereise, with serupulcts legidanty, will generaJy be 
found more heaJiby than (be mao who. very deeply engaged in 
lOieJlectual pissuits, often forgets Icr a time (besx bcdily ctavinga The 
citizeti who has letued, and svbose ideas, pethaps, scarcely soar above 
or extend beyend his little garden, puddlieg all the morning about his 
borders of box. wall, perhaps, live as long as the philosopher whose 
tafige of iciiellect is (he most extensive, and whose views are (be 
clcaresi of aoy of his ocnicmporarKS It has been posiiively observed 
by ihM who have attended lo the hills of monaluy that womeri live 
loogcr upen an average (ban men, and. though I would ooi by any 
meafis say that their isielleciual Acuities are lofarior, yei, I (hiok. u 
nuisi be allowed that, from their different education, itwrc are not so 
many women as men, who are etciied to vigorous meotal etemon 

As in (base and similar inasnees, or to (akea larger rasge, as ui ihc 
great diversity of characters ihai have existed duruig seme thousand 
years, no decided differceca has been observed a the durauoo of 
human life frem the eperauon of intclleci, the mcnality of mas on earth 
seems to be as completely tsiablisiKd, aod exactly upoo (he same 
grounds, as any erte. die most consisru. of the laws of natise An 
immediate xi of power lo the Creaior of the Universe might, lodecd. 
change one cr all of these laws, oidur suddenly or gradually, but 
wiihoui some indicattcru of such a change, and su^ mdications do ncx 


rsvfulMiontotC laiitfUCsnsio. 

Ajt Eifov nn F‘upt’lannn 


exix n Is |(jsi as uttQhiJosopfiicsl to suppose ibai die lift of man nu; 
be proloegrd beyond any assignable Umns, as u> suppose dial ihe 
araacijoo ol the canb will gradually be ebanged into repulsion and dui 
sioees Mil uJufisiely rise losiesd laJ) or that the raiih will fly off ai 
a cenam pened lo soroe mve goual jnd wannei sun 

Hw condusion of this chapter presents us. imdoubicdly. wiih a 
very beautiful aod desirable picture, but like seme of die landscapes 
Aat*ii fiem fancy aod noi unagined with (nidi, ii fails of (hat inicrcsi in 
(be bean which nature and probability cao alone give 

I cannot quit (bis subject wiihoui taking nctict of (hese conjectures 
of Ml Godwio and Mi Ccndoreei concerning the indefiniie 
prolcAgaucri of human life, as a vary curious msianee of (he Icnging of 
(be soul after inijiiortal(y Bo(h diase gendemen have rejected the light 
of rcvclaiioo t*tiidi absolutely promises eternal life a ancdier state 
Hiey have also rejected die ligbi of natural religion, sthich to ibe ablest 
loiellecis A all ages bas indicated die future msieece of the soul. Yet 
so ccngenial is the idea of inunortaliiy to (he mind of man that they 
cannot ccrueoi entirely to throw it out of dies systems AAer all iheir 
ftstidious scepticisms concerning the only probable mede of 
iremtfiality, they loiroduce a species of immonality of tbeit omi, not 
only corr^nely contradictory to every law of philosophical 
probability, but in itself a the higbesi degree narrot*. partial, and 
(Ajusi nicy suppose ihat all ihegreai vinuous. and exalted nunds that 
have ever existed cr that may exist fer sonte thoussods, perhaps 
millions of years, sull be sunk in annhiJauon, and that only a few 
beings, not greaier in niAiber (ban cao exist at cnce upon the earth, will 
be ultimately crowned with immortality Had such a urKt teen 
advanced as a tenet of rcvelaticn I am very sure that all the eeemscs of 
(HigKA, aod protebly Mr Godwin and Ur Coedorcet artiong the ten, 
would have exhausted ibe whole force of dicu ridicule upon it as ihe 
most puerile, the most absurd, the pccren, the mosi pitifuL the most 
leiquitously uojust, and. censequendy, the most unwtfiby of the Deity 
(bat the supcrsiitious folly of mao could lovesit 

^M)a( a strange aod curious proof do these ctmjectures exbibu of 
(be inccsuisiency of socpiicism' u should be observed, diai there is 
a vary sinktAg and essenual diSereect betsveen believing an assertion 
which absolutely coniraifcis the mosi uniiiMm experience, and an 
auertioo ahicb coniradKis ncdiing, t*u is merely teyend the power of 
out present observation and koowicdge So diversified are the natural 
objects aroind us, so many uuiances of mighty power daily offer 
(bemselves (o our view, (hat we may &rly presume, that (bate are 
many forms and operatioos of nature which we have not yet observad, 
ot ohicb, perhaps, we are not capable of observAg with our present 

PIrd (aiMeC Ixl Joha^ix laft haul i 


T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 4170S I 

ccnfitted icilM« of kt)o«ledge. TIk r<«isrecuoA of a apiniaaJ body Iron 
» futisa] tod; don ttoi jo itself a mote tvoodetiul instance of 

power Uuci the ^rminaiion of a of wlwai from the graio. or of an 
oak &on an acom Could we conceive ao ifiie))i^i beiog. to placed as 
to be conversant cnl; with oiafiinaK u fjll grown objects, aod oever 
to have witnnscd ibe ptoc»s of vegetauen and growth: and wete 
another being to iIkw him itvn little piecn of matter, a grain of wbcai, 
and an acen. to desire him to examine them, lo analyse them if he 
pleased, aod endeavour to fnd cut tbeir ptocerties and nsenen, aod 
then to tdl hin, that however inflAg these Unle bus of matter mi^t 
appear to him. thai they possessed such cunous powers of selection, 
ccntbinaticfi, arrangemceu. aod almost of creation, that upen being put 
iciio Ibe ^ouod. they would cboose, amongst all the din and moisiiae 
ibat sisrounded them, those pans which best suited their purpose, ibai 
ibey would collect and arrange these pans wiib wonderful taste, 
judgement, and exacuticn. aod would rise up into teauuful forms, 
scarcely in any respect aoalogous to the liiilc bits of maiicr which were 
first placed in the earth I feel very little doubt that the unaginary being 
whi^ I have supposed would besiiatc more, would require t«ner 
authcrity, and sirooger proofs, before he believed these strange 
axseruoos. than if he bad been told, that a being of mighty power, who 
had been ibe cause of all ihai he saw arceind him. aod of ibat existerKe 
of which he himself was conscious, would, by a great act of power 
upon the deaih and ccmipuon of bunan aeatures, raise up the essence 
of ibougbt in an locorporeal, or at lean mvisiUe form, to give it a 
happier exisieoce in anoibet state 

Ihe ooly difference, with regard to our owo appeeheosions, that is 
not ID ^vour of the latter asscnion is that the firn miracle we have 
fcpeaiedly seen, and the last miracle we have not seen I admit the fuO 
weight of this prodigious difference, tut sisely no man cao hesitate a 
moment lo saying that, putting Rcvclaticn out of ibe guesticn. the 
resurrection of a spiritual body from a natural body, whidi may be 
merely one ameng the many operations of nature whidi wc canna set. 
II an event mdefiniiely more probable than the immcrtality of mao on 
earth, which is ooi only an event of which no symptoms u indicaucsis 
have yet appeared, but is a posittve contradiction to cne of the most 
ccAstant of tbe laws of nature that has ever come withio the observation 
of man 

^Mien we extend our view beyoodthis bfe. it is evident ibat we can 
have no oibet guides than authcrity, cr conjecture, and peshaps, iCNdetd, 
an obscure and undefined fetUng Whai I say here, ibetefdte. does not 
appear to me a aey respect to contradict wbai I said before, when I 
otoerved that it was inphilosophical to export any specifick eveoi ibat 


CovadiiiontofC IsiiuilCsnaio. 

Alt EifOV riH F‘uptiJimnn 


ws« not indicated by «onv kind of analogy jii the paM. In tangjoj 
beyond ibe bourne fton mIucI) no saveDertetunu, muei necesaadly 
qui dus ndc: boi «idi regard (o evmta ibai may t< expected to happen 
on earth. t*e can addon quit it contisientJy with true phJoaopby 
Analogy haa, botvever, a« I conceive, great launwk For inaiance, nan 
haa dacovered many of ibe laws of naiure analogy teenu lo indicaie 
(bat ha suiJI discover naoy mere: bui oo analogy a«em« to indicate diat 
he mH diacovet a aixdi aenae. or a oew apcciea of power in the human 
nued. enUrcly beyood theoaio of our preaentcbactvauoea. 

Hw powe« of selecuoo, ccmbinaiioo, and iransnuiiaiioo. which 
every seed ilwwa. are ciiJy niraculoua Who cao imagiee diat theae 
wonderful Cacidiiea are coeiaintd lo theae lirtle bita of ntaner^ To me it 
appeara much more phJoaophical (o auppoae lhai (he migbiy God of 
nature la preaent in fuU energy in all theae operauona. To this aO 
powetfUJ Being, n would be aqua])y easy (o raiae an eek wiibout an 
acorn aa with ctk Hk preparatory procesa of putting seeda into ihc 
ground la niae)y crdainad {or ibe uae of man. as ooe among the varteas 
other eiciiements necessary to awaken natier uiio mind, h la an idea 
(bat will be found cerujsient. equally with the oatural phenomena 
around us, with the various events of human life, and with (be 
successive revdaucru of Gcd to man. to suppose that the world is a 
mighty process for the creaiicn and lixniatioo of mind Many vesaels 
will oeceasariJy ceme out of this great funace lo strong sbapes. Tlieae 
will be broken ajwl dirosin aside as useless: while those veeels whose 
fcrnis are full of truth, grace, aod loveliness, will be waAed into happKi 
siiuaiions. nearer (be peeaeoct of the mi^y maker. 

( ought perhaps again to make an apology to my readert for 
dwelling so tog upon a coniecture which many, I keow. will think too 
absurd and improbable to require the least discussion. But if it te as 
improbable and as contrary to the genuine spirit of philosophy aa I own 
t dunk u IS, «hy should it not be thewo lo be so in a candid 
cxamieauon? A conjecture, however improbable oo the first view of ii, 
advanced by able and ingcoious meo, seems at least to desarve 
levesiigaiioo. For my own pan I feel no disinclinaucn whatever to give 
(bat degree of credit to the opinicn of the prdnblc immcrtality of man 
on earth, which the appearances that can be brought lo support of it 
daarve Before we decide upon the oner improbability of such an 
eveoi. It IS but fair impartially to examine these appearances; and fron 
such an examination I think we may conclude, that we have rather leas 
leascA for supposing that the life of man may be indefinitely prolonged, 
(ban that trees may be made to grow mdefieuiely high, or potatoes 
ifidefinitely large Though Mr Godwin advaoccs the idea of the 
lodefinitc prolongation of human Ife marely as a coniecture, yet as he 

Plra (aiMeC Ixl Joha^ic la&i Paul i 


Thomas Malthus < 170S) 

h8« produced some appcaf a ncCT. ntudt in lus ccsKcpAjoo favour ihc 
uppaniucA, he muei cetiaiol; inund ibai ihe«e appearsnets abould be 
examioed andihii la all (bai I Itave tnrant lo do. 

ELinacMf &eHc«.ou.v publbhiws 

FWaduioni of Olsutf H Cenai» 


Errrv ef Wr u ofuiOffwig mah roc MtfA ai ibe J>jW c/ c 

bt/itf AtfW' isfiMcr • I/I ibe romp/vwi// btvf, kcm Mf /^outoiw 
WJ A^>rA<t arr ct ^Ott/bng foteti tn ibe tforroa'j Mf 
<uttfrr(rMi*<'y • KeAttttiAgt of Mr Gfi^wiA oit tb« tkifoei of eotrtio/i 
Somie ^rWiU 0/ e a/Pirrf cc' to be eomoot/i'tiMfi from oit nan m 

10 coo&idet ihc cbjfcticn to bi« sy«Ufn of nullity from ihe priocjple of 
pofulaiioo. It Itai app<ar?d. I think clearly, ibu be la gteaily rrroneoua 
ici lu« rtateftietii of ibe diaunce of ihir diffieuliy. and itut intaesd of 
myriadr of ceoiuriea, it u really noi ihirTy yearr. or even ibiny days, 
diaiant &cen ua Hie suffewucA of ibe approaeli of man 10 imrotfiality 
on earth it ecnainly not of a bnd 10 aofien ibe difftculty Tlie only 
arguitiem. therefore, in the chapect wtudi has any leedency 10 remove 
(be ctjechon is the eoojecuire ccnceming the eadeicuno (tf the passioo 
betsveen the aeaes, but as ibis is a mere eoojetuue, untuppened by the 
amaJcsi shadow of proof, ihe fceee of the objceiion may te ^iriy raid 
10 remain ufiimpaired, and n i< isvloiibiedly of suflicicni wci^t of 
iiaelf ccenplctely to overwm Mr Gedwin's whole ryatem of equality. I 
Mil. bovever, make cne er two observaiiont eai a few of ibe peaiuntnt 
pane of Mr Gcdwin’t reasenings which wiU cceinituie to place in a 
siill clearer point of view the liule hope ibai we can teaacnably 
entertain of those vast improvemenK in the oatwe of man aod of 
society whidi he bold< up to our ^Imiriog gaze 10 his Politica] Jusuct 
Mr Godwin considers man too much in iha lighi of a t«ing merely 
loiellectual Tbis encr, at lean such { conceive it to be, pervades his 
whole work aod mixes itself with all his reasoniegs. Tbe voluoiaiy 
actions of men may onginaic in their opioions, bui (best opioions will 
be vary differently nxdifiad in ercaiures eompouoded of a rational 
&culiy and corporal propcn&ibes frem whai they would tc 10 bungs 
wholly intellectual Nh Godwio, in proving that sound reaaoniog and 
cuth are capable of beiog adequately communicated, examines the 


T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 4170S I 


ptooouuoe firs pfaciically, and itKO adda, 'Such i« ihc appearance 
Mhich du« pfOM&jnoe aasume«. wbeti natniiied lo alooae and praeueal 
view In sujci conaidcraijon H will noi admii of debate Man i< a 
faiicMial beifi£, etc ' (Bk I, cb S, a the ibird ediuoo Vd L p. SSk So 
far from calling tbia a etnci coneideraiiofi of the aubfcca. I o«n I diould 
call It the looacM. and most errcAeous. way poaeible, of considericig jt 
t\ IS tbe caleulaung the velocii; of a filing body jn vacuo, and 
pcraifUfig JD ft. that it suouJd be the eaioe through wliaievar rmsiing 
meditinu it might ^IL This was not Nesuicn'e mode of pfulotcphiiing. 
Very few general propoaiticeu are just jo applicaijoo to a particular 
subiett Tbe moon u not kept m her erbit lotind the earth, nor the earth 
10 her orbit round tbe sun, by a force that varier merely jn the jnverae 
ratio of the squares; of tbe tfatancet. To nuke the general theory just in 
application to tbe revoluiiont of thcee todies, it was necassary to 
calculate accurately the disturbing foece of tbe sun upen the mcon, and 
of tbe moon upon tbe earth, aivl till ibea diansbing forees were 
properly estimated, actual observations cn the moiicns of these bodies 
would have proved that the theory was not accurately true. 

t ant willing to allow that every voluntary act i« preceded by a 
decKicn of the mind, but it is strangely cpposiie to wbat I diould 
ccetceive to be tbe just theory upon the sub}ett. and a palpable 
centr^etjon to all espetienct. to ray that tbe corporal propensiuer of 
nun do not act very powtrfiilly. as diriurbiAg forces, in these decisionr 
The queriion, iberefWe, does ooi merely depend upon whether a man 
nuy be made to mdersiand a dimoct proposition cr be coovincad by an 
unanswerable argument A inidi may be brought borne to bis ccnviaion 
as a ratKcial being, though he may determioe to act cooirary to lU as a 
cempound Ming Ihc cravings of huoget. the love of liquor, the desire 
of possessing a beautiful woman, will urge men to aciioos, of tbe fatal 
ccruequences of which, to the geoeral mterasis of society, they are 
perfeedy sucll cuivineed, even at the very time they commit them. 
Remove tbeir bodily eraviegs, and they would ooi hentaie a momeoi in 
determieing against such actions Ask them ihcir opuiioo of the same 
ccetduet in another person, and they would immediaiely tepeofntc ii 
But ui tbeit own cate, aod under aO the citcumrtanees of their situation 
with these bodily cravings, tbe decision of the eompoued being is 
diifeieet from the ocnviaioo of the raiicnal being 

If this be the just view of the subject, aod both ihccry aod 
experience inite to prove that ii is, almut all Mr Codwio's teasenings 
on the subject of coercion in bis seventh chapter, will appear to be 
founded oo etsor. He spends scene ome in placmg in a ndieulous point 
of view tbe aiiempi to eoovinee a man's undetstaoding and to clear up a 
doubtful proposition in his mmd. by Mows. Undcaibicdly ii is bceh 

pisresQurytOTtALV nieLWHiwS 

rsuadiientofC luiiwHCenaio, 

Alt Eifov rU) f‘upiilannn 


ndiculout and barbarous, aod so i« cock^fifhiing, t*u one bos linle 
more to do Mih die real object of buman poniduncms than (he other 
One hequetK (indeed miKh loo liequeni) mode of poendimeot is deaib 
Ml GodsciA Mil hardly (hint: ihis inustded foi ccnvjaioo, ai lesit n 
doe) 001 appear how the iitdividual cr (be sociei; coiJd reap much 
huure benefn fiom on uodeietandAg (Alighiened lo ihia manner 

Ihe pnncipal obteeta which buman pmislunent) have in view are 
(ifvloiilMedly lertraiM and eiamplei lenramt or removal, of art 
ifidjvndaal member whose vicious habjia are likely lo be prejudicial lo 
(be society', aod example, whidi b; exprassiog the eensc of the 
ccmmuniiy wstb regard to a pantcular crima, aod by aseociaiing mere 
nearly aod visibly crime and puniduncm, holds out a mcral mouve lo 
dissu^ o(ber< from (be commissicn ol u. 

Restraini. Mi Godwin thinks, may be permincd as a lemporaiy 
expedient diough he repeobeies solitary impnsoomeni. which has 
certainly teen (be most successful, and. indeed, almosi the only anempx 
(owards the moral amelioration of offenders He lalks of (be selfish 
passions (bo( are fosaered by solitude and of (he vinues gcortaied in 
society Bu( surely these virtues arc lUM genaarad in (be society of a 
prison Were the offender coofined lo (he society of sUc aod virtuots 
men he would proinbly be more improved (han m soluudc But is this 
practicable? Mr Godwin's mgetniity is more ftequcntly employed in 
finding out evils (hon lo suggesting practical remedies. 

Puoidiment, ftf example, is totally reprobated By endeavouring to 
make examples tec impressive and terrible, nations have, indeed, been 
led ieto Ihe most barbarous aueloes, but the abuse of any pr^ce is 
ncx a good argument agamrt iis use Tbe indetaiigaUe pains lakcn in 
(bis country lo find oui a murder, and the cenaioty of its purushmetii, 
has powerfully contributed to generate that seniimeni which is frequent 
10 the mouths of the cemmoo people, that a murder will soooer or later 
ceme to light and the babiiual honor lo which murder is in 
ccnsequence held wOl make a nwn. in the agony of passioo, throw 
down hii Qufe fer fear he should be tempted to use ii lo (be 
grauAcaiion of bis revenge In Italy, where mtirdems. by flying lo a 
sanctuary, are allowed mve frequently lo escape, the crime has oever 
bceo held in the same dctniouoo and has consequently been mere 
ftequcni No man, siho is at all aware of the operatitm of mcral 
motives, cao doubt for a moment, that if every murder a Italy had been 
lOvanaUy punished, (be use of ihc stiletto in iraospcris of passion 
would have been comparatively but Uttle Oiosun 

Ihai human laws either do, or can, prepomon the puniduntni 
accurately lo the offence, no persen will have (he folly to asseri Pron 
(be inscrutability of motives the ihmg is abaoluiely impossible, but this 

Piro (aiMM Ixl Jolvi^ lab haul sCkir^Ywd. Laotija. 


T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 417081 

jitipetlnuofi, thou^ ii may be caUcd a apectes o( lojuaiice, la no valid 
argumeni agairtfl human lawa. Ii i« die lot ol mafi, ihat he will 
frequcrtUy bave to ebooae bdwcen (wo evils: and ii la a (ufftcieni 
(eaacn fu ihe adopiioii o4 aoy inauiuuon, ihai ii is die beat mcdc dial 
augstaa H<«lf o4 pteveiuiog greater rvtU A eootinual endeavour 
should undoubtedly peevail lo matte (bese irtttuuiioot as perfect at the 
nature o4 ibem will aifenji But noduns la to caty as to find fault widi 
human lotinuuoot, luxbieg to difficuli at lo s ugg est adequate peaeoeal 
improvcmentt It la to t* lanteoied. that mere men of talcntt employ 
(beu Mine ui the tcin\ei occupatioe than lo ihe tatter 

Hae frequeney of crime amoog men. wbo, as ihe eontnacn saying 
It, know berur, tuffieienily proves, ihai some tnidis may be brought 
heme to die conviciion of dve mind Mthoui always peoduciog (be 
proper effect upen ibe eooduci 'Iherc are other imiht of a nature ibat 
perhaps oevet can be adequately communicated from erw mao lo 
another Ihc tupericriry of the pleasures of intdkct to ihote of sent*. 
Mr Godwin considers at a fistdamcntal cuib. Takiog all cireumttances 
iciio coosidrraitcn, I should be disposed to agree Mtb him; but bow am 
t to communieatc this uudi to a persoo wbo bas scarcely ever felt 
loiellecnial pleasure? I may at wdl atiempi to explam (be oature and 
bcauiy of colours lo a blind man If I am ever to labcrious, patient and 
clear, and have the mosi repeated opponunhies of eiporiulaucn. any 
real progress toward ibe aecempliHbment of my purpose seems 
absoluiely bopdess. Utere is oo eosninon measure tcisveen us I cannot 
proceed siep by step li is a iruib of a nature absolutely incapable of 
demcnsoaiicn All ihai I cao say is, that the wisest and test tnee lo aO 
ages bad agreed lo giving die preference, very gready, to dw pleasises 
of ioidleci; and dial my own experitrKe com^etclycoofirmed die truth 
of ibeir decisions: that I had fnuodseosual pleasures vaA, nanttetii. and 
ceniuiually atiended with tedium and disgust; tau ihai intelleciual 
pleasures appeared lo me ever fresb and young. fiOcd up all my hours 
satis&etorJy, gave a new zest lo life, and diffused a lasing seteoity 
over my muid If he belKvc me. it can enly be frem respect and 
veneraitcA for ray authcrity It is credulity, and nee eonwciion. I have 
not said any ibing, nor can any thing be said, of a nature lo produee teal 
cenviciion IIk af^ir is oot an affair of reasoning, but of eaperiance 
He would ptobebly observe in reply, wtat you say may t* very true 
with regard to yourself and many otbet gcod men. but for my own part 
[ feel very diffrrmOy up«n the subject I bave very fiequeoily taken up 
a bo^ and almosi as frequeoUy gerw to sleep over it; but wber I pass 
an evening witb a gay party, or a prrtiy woman, I feel ahve. and in 
spirits, and truly enjoy my etistmee. 


FWaduionv ofC'Isiitf U Censick 

Ajt Essay nn F‘upttliMinn 


Under ^udi citcumetacic^s. redMning and argumeotf are noi 
joaminieMa front tvtjdi gicfoa can be nprcted. Ai «onte fiinue omc 
ptrtiaQ&, rea] aaucry of fenaual pleasise^ or scent accidental 
jmpect&jons that awakened Uie cnergict of lua mind, ttuflu effect that, 
le a momh. tvtudi the most patient and abk exposiuiatiooe tnifhi be 
icicapablc of effecting in {ony yean 

Pirp fwyitcC (acl la &i Paul i ClurA'YiM i 


Wr Gdwm's fire geepce4i4e^ eripMtvg pi^ioesJ imib, mt aiAao* 
i^rt iHWJe wort t%agei, /rot ' Ittaeoiu w< hai* foe 

fvm the Sums ocetssoneel fr> Mf pnttipSe 
populatiat nei ftie rreei and nveal wttijttsj kwa eau t^tr Oe 
wSuUte efoScattd • FerfettAiJt, la tie se/ue ra ntucti Mr IrodtsJt 
44set'he iee4K isos s/ipheTiMe to atu/t • Haiiire cf lie roilptrfetnbiniy 
of nan 4llittiroieA 

ccrollafies tnpeciin^ polfiical mjth. %*tijdt Mr Godwin drsw« frcsn Uie 
pfooouuoe diet du voluoiary sciions of tiKO onginaie lo dwir 
ofMiuons, wJ) net apKor lo be clearly eatabliilwd. Tliese corodarju 
are. 'Souod reaaooiog and uinb, wbm adequately commisiicaied, muei 
alwaye be vjceotMus over errer. Souod rcasooing and (nidi are capable 
of bcin£ <0 ocenmucijcated' TnjtJi i< omcupotcen. Hie vices and moral 
wca}jK(« of mao arc not jnviecjble' Man jt perfcciiblc. or id other 
words, suscepcjble of pcrpcnial iraprovenient' 

Hie first ibrce peoMudooa may tc considered a complete 
syU^ism. If by adequately commurucated. t* meant audi a ccsivjaion 
as to peodocc an adequate effect upon the cooduct. (be major uuy be 
allowed and die nuoor denied. The conaequeoi, tf die otooipoteoct of 
(nidi, of course falls to (be ^rceind If by 'adequately commurucated' be 
mcani merely the cooviciicn of (be ratiooal faculty, (be males must be 
denied, die minor will be csily true in cases capable of demcAsuation, 
and die consequeni equally falls TTie fourth prcfiositicn Nfe Codivin 
calls the preceding proposition, with a sight vanauen ui die statemeni 
tf so, ii must accempany the preetding propositicn in its £aU But it 
may be worth while to inquire, sutb reference to (be ptuieipaJ argununt 
of this essay, into the particular reasoos which we have for suppotuig 
(bat (be vices and moral weakness ttf mao can never tc wholly 
overcome lo this sucrid 

Man. according to Mr Godwin, is a creatise formed what he u by 
(be successive impecssions sthich be has received, from Die fust 

Alt Eisav riH F‘upt'laiinn 


momm that ihe garm Iron «.4)icb Im spmg \*as; Jiunuted. Could he 
be placed lo a snustiofi, «hete he ^ulyect to no evil impreiuofia 
Mhaievct, ihoogh u tnifhi be doubled wbeiher it* such a siiuauofi vnue 
could ecist, Viet would certaml; be bajuabed Hk peat beiii of Mr 
Godsvin's svork: cn Poliucal lu«uc«, if I ufidersiand it rijhOy. ji lo shew 
(bai die greaiet pan of ibe vicea aod wrakiie&ses of men proceed frun 
(be jnjusuce of their poiMjcal and social jnantifuooa, and dial if these 
were removed and die ufidentandiogi of inefi mere enlightened, diee 
would be Uuk or no (cmpiauon m die world lo evil. As ii bas toen 
clearl; proved, however, lai lean as I (binkti ibai thw; is aniirel; a false 
ccneepuoo, and diet. indepeedetK of any poliiieal or social inniiuueni; 
whaiever, ihe greater pari of manbnd, from die fixed and uoalietable 
laws of nanire, must ever t< subject lo die evil umpaaiions arisjog fion 
waoi besides caher passions, u follows from Mi Godwin's defioiticn of 
man ibaisuch impresstonx, aod eombinaiioos of impressicru, eannea be 
aAoai in die svcild wiihoui geoctaiing a variety of bad nun Aceording 
(0 Ml Godwin's own eoncepiion of die ftfitiaiion of eharaciar. i( is 
surely as improbable ihai under such cireumsiafices aO men wnll be 
virruous as ihai sixes will come up a hundred uraes followiog upoo ihc 
dice The great variciy of comhoauoos upon die dice in a repealed 
succession of dirowa appears lo me noi loapaly lo lepreseni die great 
varieiy of charaoer ibai mun nectsarily exjsi ici ibe sucrid. supposjog 
every individual to be formed what be is by dial eombinaucn of 
impressions which he has received since his first exisience. And this 
ccmparisoo will, in some measure, shew the absurdity of supposing, 
(bat exceptions will ever become general nilaa; dial ersaordinary and 
unusual eombinaiicns will tc ftepuent; cr ihai (be individual Astanees 
of great vtnue wtiidi had appeared in all ages of die sucrid will ever 
prevail univarsaJy 

t am aware that Mr Godwin mighi say ibai the comparison is in 
one respect loaccurate, ihai to (be case of tbe dice, (be precediog 
causes, cr rather the ebancea reipectieg (he preceding caiscs, were 
always (he same, and that, diereftfe, I could have no good rcasoo for 
suppoaiog thai a greater numtor of sixes would come up to the next 
hissed times of throwing (ban a (he precediog same number of 
(brows. Bui, dial man had in some sort a power of influencmg dioac 
causes that formed character, aod diat every good and virtuous man dial 
was produced, by (he Afluetice which he must nectsssrily have, rather 
locreaaed the probebtluy ibai another such virtuous character would be 
generaied, whereas die ccenieg up of sixes upoo the dice dice, wvuld 
certamly ooi uicrease (be probability of dieir comiog up a second lime 
t aiftnit this chjecticri to (he accuracy of the comparison, but it is ooly 
panially valid. Repeated experience has assured us, that (be influence 

Pirn (aiMeC Ixl Johnnie la&i Paul iCkur^YiM i 

T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 4170S I 

of ihc tno«i vinuoui diarocier will larcly prevail i^ansi vary stron j 
(cmftJiioea to cm). It wJ) undouttedl; affect tone, bui M mII fail widi 
a mudi prater ounber Had Mr Godtvici soctceded in bir aitrmpi to 
prove ihai itwre tcmpuuciii; (o rvil could by ilw rxemoAt of man be 
removed, I would fjve up the comparuon: or at Icaai allow, that a man 
might be so far mJigbteoed with regard to ihe mede of rhaJung liia 
elbow, ihai he would tc able to throw fixer every time But as )oog as a 
prat nuintar of ihoa impressions whidi form character, ULe the nice 
nttuons of ihe arm. remain absolutely lodepcndetii of the will of man, 
(bnugli It would be the height of folly aod presumptioo to attempt to 
calculate die relative proporuonr of vsnue and vice at the future petieds 
of the world, it may be safely asserted that the vices aod mcral 
wcaimerf of mankiod. taiicn io the mass, are invcKible 

Ihe fifth proposition if (be general deduction &cnt die four former 
and mH consequeotly fall, as the fbuoAuoot which support it have 
given way Io die tense lo which Mr Godwto leidersunds the tetm 
'patfecuble', die perfrtubility of man cannot afterttd. unless the 
preceding propofiuons could have been clearly eetablished There it. 
however, one feofe, which (be term will tear, in which n i«, perhaps, 
just It may tc said with truth that man is always tuscepuUe of 
improvement, or that there never has been, or sull te, a period of his 
history, to which he cao t< sad to have reached hif possible acme of 
perfection Yet M does not by any means follow from tbif, that our 
effortt to improve man will always succeed, cr even that be will ever 
mate, in the greatest number of ages, any exuaorduiary strtdef towards 
perfection The ooly lofCroKe that can be drawn is that the precise )imn 
of his impeovemant cannot p«sibly be knowo. And I cannot bdp sgaui 
reraindng the reader of a disUKiicn which, it appears to me. ought 
particularly to be atunded to to the present quesiicn. I mean, (be 
essential difference dure is bciwceo an unhmued unprovemeoi and an 
improvement the Imui of which casoot be asccnaiocd. Ihc ftfmer is an 
impeovement emt applicable to mao under the prtseeu laws of his 
neture Ihe latter, uodoubiedly, is applicable. 

Ihe real psrfectibility of man may be illustraied, as I have 
mentioned before, by the perfectibility of a plant TIm object of the 
enterpriaiDg fkrist is,as I conceive, to unite uie, symmetry, and beauty 
of colour. It svouJd surely be presumptuous in du most successful 
improver to affirm, that be possessed a camatioo in which these 
qualities existed ui the greatest possible staie of perfeciioo. However 
beauuful his flosver may be, other care, other toiL tf other suns, might 
produce ooe stil) more beautiful. 

Yet, alihou^ he may b< aware of the absurduy of supposing that 
he has reached perfeciion, ard (bough he may know by wbat mcaos he 

eLiC7llCUirgeH<A.OlLV niBltSHIWS 

rsuUiuontofC laiitfilCsnai» 

Alt EifOv riH F‘upttlaiinn 


snaitted ihet degree of beauiy it* the flovn «hicb be ai pennu 
p09«es9e&, yet he canttoi tc «iire dui by puieuAg suiular meana, rather 
jecresaed it* eneogib, he wiU obtain a mote bcauiiful blossom. By 
eitdravoufiitg to improve one quality, be may impau the beauty of 
another Tlie nebet mould wtudi he v*ould employ to locreate the toe 
of bit placit should prcbably bur^i the ealyi:, and desooy ai erwe its 
syimnevy. lo a similar manner, ibe fcrciog manute used to bring about 
tbe F^eneb RcvoUitJon, aod to give a greater freedom and energy lo tbe 
human mind, has buret the ealyi of humanity, ibe restiaining bend of 
all aociMy, and, bovever large tbe arparate petals have growt. bouever 
sucngly, or even beautifully, a £e«' of them have bcco narked, the 
ikhole IS at present a loose, doomed. dis|ointcd mass, without ueion, 
symmetry, ot harmony of eolouring 

Were it of eonsequence lo improve pinks and carnations, though 
we could have oo hope of rauaog them as large as cabbages, we mi^t 
undoubtedly espeet. by sucecasivc effons, to obtaio more beautify 
specimeos than we at present possess No person ean deny the 
importance of unproving the happiness of tbe human species Every the 
least advance in tfus respect ts highly valuable. But an esperimeet with 
tbe huinao race is oot like an eipcriment upoo inanimate objects IIm 
bursting of a flosvet may be a nifle. Aoother wiO scon succeed ii. But 
tbe bursiAg of tbe bends of society is such a separatioo of pans as 
cannot take place without givmg the most acuie pain to tbousandL and 
a long lime may elapse and much misery may be endured, before the 
wound grows up agaui. 

As Ibe five proposiuons which I have bceo examinuig may be 
ccruidered as the comer stones of Mi Godwin's ^netful smeture. aod. 
lodeed, as expressiog tbe aim and bent of hia whole sverk, however 
excellent much of his detached rcasoniog may be. he must be 
ccruidered as havutg faded a the great object of bis uodenakiog 
Besides the difficulties arising frent die compound nature of mao. 
which he has by on means sufTicieeily smoothed, the principal 
argument agairui the perfectibility of man and society remains whole 
and unimpaired fiom any thing that he has advanced And as &r as I 
can susi my own judgement, this argumeot appears to be conclusive, 
not only agaiost the perftcubiliiy of man, m tbe colargcd sense in 
which Mr Godwin understands the term, but against any very marked 
and sinlung change Ui the better, lo tbe form and structure of general 
society: by which I mean any great aod decided amdicrauoo of tbe 
ccnditioo of the lower classes of mankind, the most oumetous, aod. 
ccAsequently, in a geneml view of the subject, the most impertant pan 
of the humao race Were I to Uve a ihouund yvars, and the bws of 
nature lo remain the same. I ihculd little feat, ot rather hole hope, a 

Plm (siMeC Ixl Joha^ic lab haul sCkur^YiM i 

T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS < 170S) 

ccAir^ctJOd ftcsn cxMrjence io aisefung ihai tto poBjble 5Mtj6cc« or 
excrijooa of ihc nch, io aoouriry hod boco loog jrhobitcd, could 
fcr any lime place ibe lowsf clasMS of Uie comitiijoity jn a fiiiiatiofi 
equal, wnh regard u> circumstances to (be ^nuaticn of (he ccMiunon 
pec(>lc about (biny years ago in (be oortbefn Stales of Ajnerjca. 

Ihc lovet classes of people lo Europe may at some future period 
be much tener inarucud than dicy are at present; they may be laughs 
(0 employ tbe luile sgiare ume ihey have io many betsar ways than ai 
(be alC'hMse: ihey may live under belter and more equal laws ihan dicy 
have ever hubeno done, perhaps, in aoy country; aod I even conceive u 
possible, (hough ooi probable tbu they may have mote leisure; t*u it is 
no( io the naiise of ibuigs (hai ihey cao be awarded such a quaoosy of 
money or subsisteocc as will allow ihem all (o marry early, in ihc full 
ccnfidencc ibai (bey shall be able lo provide with ease for a oumetous 


FWaduioni of Olsiitf H Censio. 


too pe/feet mot somfimtes foiher impede il<m» ptemoie 
to^iot'eneV • Wr Irodwut't eiioy oh 'Aranee aeid PmfojTOH' • 
foipoutbiltiy of dotdifif, the oeeeieort toMme of o loeiefr oimeii^ 
oiHOHg od •All MJd ei opotiui Joboiie otet prodiiee praeot oitf »4eft 
JipJe Of HO eioHte ef pto^mug fkiuit good > Aw oeeeaioii te Oto 
maa of o^netduroi omit alttfvc br aw odt/olote le Mf 


Mk Couwin i>4 THE fREPAce TO Hii Bmqujkecl. dropH a few 
cxpressjoo4 wlticb aem to hioi at «cene change in bi« ofueiooa &jnce he 
wrote tbe Pnluical JusUet; aed aa ihi< la a work oow of sane yean 
MondiAg, I thouUJ ctnajoly duok that I had boeo afgiung agsioai 
ofMnjona which the oiithot had huiudf «een reaaon lo alicf, btii ibai in 
aotne of the cusys of the Eoquiret, U Gcdwin't peculer mcdc of 
(biobrtg apK>a>* ici aa suiUrtg a light a« ever. 

ti baa been ftequarttly obaerved that though we eoeont hepe to 
teaeb perfaettort irt any thing, yei that it mutt always be advaoiagcois 
to m to pbee before our eyes the most perfect modela Ihia observation 
hat a plauable appearance, but la very far from being generaJly true I 
eveo doubt its truth lo ooe of the most obvious exemplificaticns ibat 
would occur. I doubt whether a very young peirntr would receive so 
much tcoefit, from on aiicmpi lo copy a highly finidied and perfect 
picture, as dotn copyiog cne wbae the outlines were mere nroogly 
marted aod the iiunner of layiog on the colours was more easily 
discoverable Bui lo cates where the perfecticA of the model i« a 
perfeciion of a different and superior nanire from tbat towards which 
we should naturally advaoce. we shall not always &l in making any 
progress towards it but we shall lo all probability impede the progress 
which we might have eipecied to make had we oot fixed our eyes upon 
so perfect a merki A highly loielletttial being, ciempi from the loRim 
calls of hunger or sleep, is undoubtedly a much mere perfeci existaiKe 
than man, but were man to aocmpi to copy such a model, he would not 
only fail in nuking any advances towards ii, but by uewisely straining 



Thomas Malthus 4179S i 

10 uniiaie wbai si'Si ifumnaUe, be xtould peotebly destroy ibe little 
iciidlect mIucIi he v>a« erwkavoutA^ to improve 

Hk liMm and stmcnirc o4 society Mliicb Mi Codv*in describes is is 
essentially distiocr £rom any fornu of society vvliich have luiherto 
ptevaJed in the acrid is a bein^ that can Ive wnhoifi food oe sleep is 
fion) 3 mao By improving society in iii; peeseet {crm. sve are ma^g 
AO mtft advances towards such a state of things as he pictures than we 
should malic apprcechcs towards a line, with regard to which we were 
waUcAg paraJd Ihe <iiKsticA, therefore, is subethet, by looking to 
such a form of society as out polar star, we are likely to advance or 
retard ibe improvenient of the human species' Mt Godwin appears to 
me to have decided this QiMsticfi against bimself in bis essay on 
Avarice and Flofusicn' intlw Enquirer 

Or Adam Snutb has vary justly observed that nations as well as 
ifidivnduals grow rich by parsimoey and poor by profusitm, aod that, 
tberefise, evary &ugal man was a frio^ arvl every spendthrift an 
enemy to his country. Ihe reason be gives is that what is saved ficsn 
revenue is always added to stock, and is thcrcfac taken from the 
mauiufiance of labour that is gentsaJy tinprodueiive aod employed in 
tbe maiotenance of labour that realizes itself ui valuable commodities 
No observaiioo con be tncre evidently jusi Ihe subject of Mr 
Godwin’s essay is a luile similar lo ns first appearance, bui lo essence 
IS as disueet as possible He ccnsidcrs the misdiief of profusion as an 
acknowledged truth, aod dusefore makes lus comparison briwceci the 
avaricMus man, and tbe man who spends bis looanc Btuthe avariciotis 
man of Mt Godwin is tctally a distinct cbaracter, at least with regard to 
his effect upon the prosperity of the state, from the frugal man of Dr 
Adam Smith 'Ihe fhigal maci ui order to make mve money saves ftern 
his UKonte and adds to his capual, aod this capital he cither employs 
himself 10 the inaAicnance of productive labour, or he leods it to some 
other person who will ptobebly employ it in this way He bcoefus the 
Slate because he adds to ii< general capital, and because wealth 
employed as capital not only sets in motion more labour than when 
spent as looone, but the labour is besides of a more valuable kind But 
tbe avaricious man of Mr Godwin locks up his wealth lo a chest and 
sets A motion on labour of any kind, euber productive or uoproductive 
Ihis IS so essential a differeoct ihai Mr Codwio's decision a his essay 
appears ai once as evidenOy false as Dr Adam Smith's position is 
evidently true. It could oot, lodecd, but occur lo Mr Godwio that some 
present inconvenience might arux to the poet from thus locking up tbe 
funds destAcd for the itainteoance ttf labour. 'Ihe only way. therefore, 
he bad of weaken uig this obiecuon was to compare tbe two characters 
chirfly with regard to their imdency to acetleraie the approach of that 


rsvadiiiontofC laiitfUCsnaio. 

Alt EifOv riH F‘uptilaiinn 


happy 9iU( of njliivaicd cqiialMy. on mIucI) he says w< ought always lo 
fix oor eyn as our polar etar 

t (fiittk: jt ha« beco pfoved in ihe lormaf peru of itus essay ifiat such 
a Hiaie of society is absolutely impractKablc Wbai coosequettets ihen 
are v>c lo cxp«ct fresn lo^Ag to sudt a pouii as our guuk aod polar 
sijs ici the great sea of poUUcal dscovsy? Reason sucuJd leacb us to 
cxp«ct no other (ban Mods perpetually adverse, cennaot tut fruitless 
(Oil. frequeni dupMetk, aod certain misery. \Ve shall noi rioly &il a 
mabng the smallest real appeoadi towards such a perfect feem of 
society: but by wasung our sircogih of miod and body, lo a dircciicn ui 
which ji IS unpossiblc to proceed, and byihe frequeot disiress which we 
nujsi necessarily occasioo by our repeated fallises, we shall evidently 
impede ihai degree of impeoventant in society, whicb is really 

h has appeared that a society coostituied accordiog to Mr 
GodwA's system must fiom die loeviiable laws of our nauire, 
degenerate Ato a class of ptopnciors and a class of labourers, aod dial 
(be substituuoe of benevoleoct for selMove as ihe moving priocipic of 
society, instead of ptoductog (be bappy eSects that nugbi be expected 
&om so ^ir a oama, would catsa the same ptessise of want to be felt 
by (he whole of soctay, which is now felt cnly by a part It is to (be 
as(ab(ished admeusiration of propeny and to the apparently oarrow 
principle of salMove that we are lodcbted for all the noUesi eietticns 
of bunan genius, aO die fioer and more dclicaie emotions of die soul, 
fer everythiog, indeed, (hat disiinguithas the civilited fiom the savage 
state, and oo suJficieeii ebange has as yet taken place to the nature of 
civilized mao to enable us to say that be eiihei is, or ever will be, in a 
state whes he may safely throw down the ladder by which he has risen 

If in every society that has advanced t*yond the savage state, a 
class of ptopnetots and a class of labourers must necaasanly exist, it is 
evident that, as labour is the oily property of the class of labourers, 
every ihAg that teods to dsmAish (he value of (bis property must tend 
(0 dimmish the possession of (his pan of s(Kieiy Tbe ooly way ihot a 
poor mao has of supporting himself lo indcpendcoce is by the exertion 
of his bodily s(rengib. Ihis is the ooly commc4i(y be has (o give a 
exchange for (be necessaries of life. It would hardly appear (hen (hat 
you tooefu him by narrowing the market for this conmodity, by 
decreasieg the demaod fer labour, and lesseniog the vahu of the only 
propeny that he possesses. 

h should be observed (bat the pnnctpal argument of ibis Essay 
only goes to prove the eecessiTy of a class of proptietces. and a class of 
latourcrt, but by no meaos infers that die presam great inaquality of 

Pirn (iiMee rxf la Si Paul i 


T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 4179SI 

ptofifny <ithH oecnsary or uwAJ to socirty. On the coerary, n 
nujsi ccnajnly be eonsideted a an evil, and every lOMitwioe dui 
peontceas u le neefiuaJy bad and impariitK Bui wbedier a govenuneni 
could with advantage to society actively interfere u> regiteaa inei^uality 
of lortufKf CTuy be a mauer of doubt Pertaps the generous system of 
perfeci liberty adopted by Dr Adam Smitb aed die Reticb ccooomista 
would be ill eschafiged fx any rystem of rtsvaini 

Mr Gedwin would perbapa aay ihai the whole tyaient of bana and 
exchange is a vile and iniquitous traffic. If you would essentially 
relieve the p«e man, you should take a pan of bis labour upon 
yourself, u give him your moeey, wrtbout exacting so avete a rcium 
Ccr It In aeswer to die Aral method proposed, it may be observed, that 
even if the ridi could bo persuaded to assist dw poor in this way. the 
value of the assistance would be comparatively trifling the ndu diougli 
they dunk themselves of great utiportance bear but a small prcpcrtion 
le point of numbers lo the poor, ajvl would, dwrefore. relieve diem but 
of a small part of their burdens by taking a share. Were all dwise ihat 
are employed a the labours of luxuries added to the number of those 
employed in producing oecessaries. and could these necessary labours 
be amicably divided among alL each mao's share might indeed be 
cemparatively light: but desirable as sudi an amicable divisien would 
undoubtedly b*. I cannot conceive any practical principle accoeduig to 
which ft could take place It has bRn shewn, that the spiru of 
bcrwvokncc. guided by the sitki impemal justice that Nfe Godwin 
describes, would, if vigorously acted uperu depess in want and misesy 
the whole human race Let us examme what would b* the coosequcnce, 
if the proprietor were to retaie a decent share for himself, bui to give 
the rest away to the poor, wuhoui exaetjog a task from them id rctiso. 
Kot to rrieotion the idleness aod the vice that such a proceeding, if 
general, wvuld probebly create ui the present state of society, and the 
great risk there svcsild be. of diminiihjng the produce r/ land, as well 
as the labours of luxury, another dijcciion yei remains 

Mr Godwin seems to have but little respect for practical pruiciples: 
but I owo It appears to me, that he is a much grcaict benefKior to 
mankind, who poiois out how an inferior good may be atiaincd, ihanhe 
who merely expatiates on the defcrraity of the present state of society, 
and the beuiy of a differcot state, without poioung out a praciic^ 
method, that might be immediately applied, of aceclcratiog our 
advances from the oee. to the other. 

ti has appeared that from the priociplc of population mote stall 
alstays be in want than can be adequiely supplied. 'Die surplus of the 
neb man rai^t be sufficient for three, but four will be desirous to 
obiaui It He cannot make this s Heel ion of three out of the four without 

eLiCTacuff'&CHia.xfiLV pueieiHiws 

rsviuUitontofC IsiitfilCsnaio. 

Alt EifOV riH F‘uptilimnn 


ccnfefTjog i gat ^vour cfi ibo«e ibai ate die oCgect* of hia choice 
HKfc penooi muit cooiider iheniirlvn si uodet » gat obUgstioo to 
him snd si dependeot upon timi loi ib&ji supp<fi Hie ricli cnan siviuJd 
See) hif poster snd die poor msn hii dependence, snd die evil efieeia of 
(bea TWO jmpece&jons on die hujiun hesn ate well hnown 'Hiou^h I 
perfecily agree widi Mr Godwin (betefote in die evi) of bard bbotir, yet 
I sull (bint: u a leas evil, and less cakulaied lo debase ilie humafi nund, 
(ban depeodence, and eveiy luattfy of mao dist we have ever read 
place in a soeng pomi of view ihe danger lo wtudi iba( mind is 
exposed which is eninistcd with ccaistant power 

tn the prtstni state of filings, and panicubrly when labour is in 
(epucst. die man w4u does a day's work (u me confers full aa greai an 
oUigauoo upon me as I do (ip«fi him I possess whai he warns, he 
possesses whai I want Wc make ao anucaUe exchange Hk poor man 
walks erect lO conscious mdcpeodencc: aoddie mind of his employer is 
nee vitiated by aseese of poster 

Htfcc cr four hmdred years ago there was undoubtedly miKh less 
btour A Englaod, a proponioo lo (be population, than ai prcseoi. tu( 
(here was much mere dependcAce, and wc probably should not now 
en|oy our present degree of civil liberty if (be poor, by tbe loiroduciion 
of nanu&ctures. had not tuen enabled to give someibing lO exchange 
fer die provisions of tbe great Lords, Astead of being dependent upon 
(beir towty. Eveo the greatest (tkctucs of trade and manufactures, and 
t do ciot reckon myself a very detemiAed friend to them, must allow 
(bat when they were leuroduced Ato Eogland, liberty came in their 

Modung that has teen said teoda in the most remote degree to 
(irvkrvalue the priociplc of bcoevolence It is one of the noblest and 
most godlike Qualiues of (he hunwn heart, geoeraicd, pethaps, slowly 
and gradually from self-love, and afterwards leteoded lo act as a 
general law, whose kind office ii shculd be, to soften the partial 
dcfomuiKS. to conett the asperities, aod lo smooth the wsAkles of ns 
parem' and this seems to be the aoalog of all naiure Perhaps tbtre is no 
one geoeral law of oature that wiJ not appear, to us as leaa, to produce 
panial eviU and we fre^i^dy observe at die same ome. seme t^nofUl 
proviaioo wbich. acting as another general law, corrects (be intqualitie 
of (be firsu 

Ihe proper office of benevolence is to soften the pertial evils, 
arising from self-love, but it can never be subnituted in iis place If no 
man were to allow hunsdf lo act till be had completely determiocd ibat 
(be action he was about to perform was mere conducive (ban any other 
to the general gcod, the most cnlghuned minds would hesitate a 

Rrd laiMeO Ixt la Si haul i CkirA.Ywd. Laotij*. 

T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 4170S I 


perplexjiy and djnaicnuAi, and ibe ufietilj^iencd siviuJd be corttinuall; 
ccnuiuiung ihe grossnt nu9ta)i£s 

As Mr Godwit), ihetefoee. bas ttoi laid do«t) any ptacocaJ pnociple 
aetDtding u> wbidi the net<«sary labours of agtjculiure cniflii be 
anucaUy shared amoej (be sritolc class of labourers, by genaral 
ifiveciives spinM cmployAg die pcot he j^kus io pursue an 
(inananaUc gceid dtrou^ mucb p(c?cti( evj Pu if every man Mu 
employs the poor ougbi lo be cciuiderad is dietr enemy, and ai .iddifig 
(0 Ihe weight of iheir oppressiona, and if (be misee is for due reason lo 
be preferred to the man who spends his income, ii follows (hat siy 
nionbct of men wlu now spend dicif incomes mighi. to (be advantage 
of socieiy, t< convened into misetr. Suppose dwn ibai a hmwfted 
(bousand persons wto now employ len men escb were (o lock up their 
wcalib frent general use, M i< evideei, ihai a mrllicn of svorking meti of 
diffeieet laeds svould be compleidyihrowci out of all employment Tbe 
extensive misery ibat such an event would prcducc in the preseni stale 
of society Mr Gedwin himself could bardly refuse lo acknowledge, and 
t Question whether he might not (iod some difficulty in proviog (hat a 
ccnduci of this kind tended more than die cooduct i^ (bose who speod 
(beif uicomes to 'place biinan beings id the conduion in which they 
ought to te placed ' But Mi Godwin says iba( (be mssci reelly locks up 
ncdiiog, (hat the point ha' eot beeo ngbily undarstoed, and (hat (he true 
dtvelopmeot and definiucn of (be naiure of wealth have nor teen 
applied 10 illustrate ii Hsviog defined (hesefore wealth, very justly, to 
be (be commodities raised and fosisred by tuunan latour, he observes 
(bat (be miser locks up ociiher com, oor oxen, nci clothes, oor houses 
Undoubtedly he does oot really lock up these arocles, tut he locks up 
(be power of prcdiicing them, which is vsruoUy the same 'ntesx thmgs 
are certainly used and consumed by his centemperanes, as truly, and to 
as great ao extent, as if he were a beggari but not to as great an exunt 
a< if he bad employed his wealth in lunuog up more land, in breediog 
nure oxen, a employing more lailtfs, and in tuilding more bouixs 
But suppOMOg, for a momeoi thai the eooduci of the miser did not tend 
to check aey really (seful produce, how are all tboae who are thrown 
oui of employmeoi lo obiaio peteois which they may shew a order to 
be awarded a ptcgier share of (be food and raiment produced by the 
society^ This is ihe unconquerable difficulty. 

t am perfectly wJliog to concede to Mr Godwin that (here is much 
more bbour in (he world than is really eecessary. and ihsi if die lower 
classes of society could agree among themselves oever lo work mere 
(ban SIX or seven hours lo (he Ay, the commodities essential to human 
happiness might stJI be produced in as grcai abundance as at preseoi 
But II IS almost impossible to ouiceivc thai such ao agreemcm could be 

eLimtcuff'&OHia.oiLV pueieiHiws 

rsvuUiiontofC laiixUCenaick 

Alt EifOv riH F‘upt'laiinn 


sdhnedio. From ihc prittcipk o( p<f>ubiicA. «cmc siviuJd neccManl; 
be mote lo \*ani (bjn c4ier» lltoK ihai had lar^e ^nu)je siviuJd 
itttonJIy t< de&jtotis of ecchafigicig two boors more of ibut laboor for 
ut amplet quaiMjiy of tubsitiecice Ho« arc (bey lo be prevcttied frctn 
mabfig itut exchange? u would tc a violaooti of ihe Htti and moei 
sacred proficny (hat a man potsestes (o anetnpi. by p^iuve 
josutunoot. to interfere siKhhia command over hi« own labour 

TJi Mr Godwvo, (bctefotc, can potni out some pracueal plan 
according (o whtcb die nectsaary labour in a society might be equitably 
divided, hit invectiver againsi latou, if (bey «vre auended (o, svould 
certamly produce mucb prcrcni evil without approriituung us (o iba( 
Slate of niliivated equality (o which he looks fotsvard as his polar star, 
and whidi, he scemr lo duok, should at present tc our guide ui 
detcrmioing the natise and leodoKy of human actioos A manner 
gtuded by such a polar star is ui danger of 3liipt*reck 

Perh^ (here is no posable way in whi^ wealth could in general 
be employed so tcneficially to a state, aod panicularly to the lower 
orders of it as by improving and renderiog productive ibat laod which 
to a farmer would not anssver the expeese of euluvaucn Had Mr 
Godwin exerted bis energetic eloquence ui peimuig the superior worth 
and usefulness of tbe ebsracter who employed the poor in this way. to 
him who employed them lo narrow luxuries, every enligbiencd man 
must have appljisdid his efforts Ihe uicreaiung demaod ftf 
agrictiliural labour must always tend to better ihecooditicn of ibe poor: 
and if the actessicn of werk be of tbis kmd, so far is it from temg true 
(bat the pMT would be cbligad (o werkten hours for tbe same price ibat 
(bey before worked ci^t that (be very reverse would be (be aod a 
latourer might then suppcri his wife aed famdy as well by tbe labour of 
six hoiss as be could before by (be labour of eigbi 

Hw labour created by luiuries, ibougb tsehil in distributing (be 
produce of the country, wsthoui viuaiing the propticter by power, u 
debesing the labourer by dcpoedcnce. has oot. indeed, (be same 
beneficial efTecis on the state of the poor A great accession of work 
from mafiufeciurers. though ii may raise the price of labour even more 
(ban an inctcaaog demand for agriculiural labour, yet, as in tbis cate 
(be qtianiiiy of foed in the country may not be prcporticnably 
ificreastng. the advaeuage lo the poor will be but lemporary, as the price 
of provisions must oecessarily rise ui properiicn to (be price of labour 
Rdaiivc (o this subfect, I cannot avoid venturing a few remarks on a 
pan of Dr AAm Smith's Wealth of Natioos, tpeaking ai the tame urae 
wiih (hot diffidence which I ought certainly to feel lo differuig frent a 
pert 00 so jusOy celebrated lo the political world. 

Pird (aiMeC Ixl Joha^w laki haul i 


Frob^die ffrtv ftf Ot Sntii tff fttfy tficttast cf 

W or skKk cf c >VTff> Of m ji^^tcute jn fot W 

of fcbc^ • /wi^i wk^ft cn n^rtcst ^ ^ftcifh ccfi 
h^t ffrWwv fc heb^r W cf iht poor • 

hot it^<Ttcst4 r^ ACi6^i mthfut o pfopofftoi^ OKffCft tft 

ihc fiiods fcf <h€ nsiHftriavt cf (otoiit * Thf steit of iht poor ot 
Cht^c woubf oct hr tmpfcttb bt on wtcith frcm 


Tk£ ^KnRssED ofiject Of De Auam SMrtH's b^gumy is Die nstore 
and mstt of (he xvrahh of oauons Hiare \s afwiher icM^uiry, howevet. 
pctiaps Mill more miertsucig, «hich be cccasjonally miin Mth it I 
mcaci aci inquiry into the cause which affect tbe banMoess of nauceu 
o( (be tianudes and eonfon of ihe lower orders of society, tvluch is 
(be moat numerous clatt in every naiicA I am sufficiency aware of the 
near oceuKctioo of ibese (wosubjecit, and ihai ihe cauat sthich lend lo 
ificrcaae ihe wcaJib of a etate tend also, generally spcaLiog. lo increase 
(be happmest of (he lower classes of die people Bui perhaps Dr Adam 
Smiih bas ccnsidered these (wo loquiries as suJ) mere oearly connected 
(ban ihey really are, ai least, he bas not stopped (o take notice of those 
losiances wture (he wealth of a tcciety may increase (according lo his 
dtfiniuon of 'wealth') without having aciy tendency lo increase (be 
ccmlisK of (he labcuring pert of it { do not mean to enter leno a 
philosophiea] discussion of what connuuies die proper bappinets of 
man. tut shall merely consider tsuo universally acknowledged 
logrediests. hcaldu and (be eommand of (he nectssaries and 
ccnveeiencee of life 

Little or 00 doiite cao esist dial die comforts of (he labouring poor 
depend iqicei die increase ttf die hisvls destined for the maintcnaoct of 
latous, aod will be very exaedy to prop«nicn to die rapidity of ihis 
lecrease. The demand ftf labcur which sudi inetease would cceasicn, 
by eteaiuig a conpciiiion in (be marfcet must oecessanly raise ihe 
value of labour, and, nil the additional number (tf hands required were 


Alt EifOv riH F‘uptilaiinn 


reared, die lAcreased ftnids %*ould be djMnbuted lo Ute same oumtar of 
ptr^oor is before ihe ittaease, ood dicrcfore every labourer siviuJd Uve 
ccenparsuvely ai hia ease Bui perhspr Di Adan Scniih enr jn 
teprereeUng every ittetease of the revettue cr ruck of a rcciety ar an 
jocrease of ibesc futds Such «urplu< sioefc or revenue wj)l, indeed, 
alu'ayr t< eonsideted by (he individual poasessieg it as an addiuooa] 
{Und from suhieb he may maiotaiei mere labour' but n wi)i not be a real 
and effectual fund for die mamienafice of an addioonal numtar of 
latourert, unicu ihe nbole, or at leasi a ^eat pan of this increase of 
(be stock cr revenue of ihc society, t< eoovenible into a peopomonal 
quantity of provisioos, aod n sud) not be <o convertible uhere Ihe 
lecreatc has arisen merely ftom ibe produce of labcur, and not ftem (be 
produce of land A disiincnon suiU le this case occur, beiwctn ihe 
number of hands suhub the Mock of ibe socieiy could employ, and ihe 
number suhuh us (emiory can maieiajo. 

To explam myself by an inetanea Dr Adam Smith dchoes (be 
wealib of a nation to conusi lo die annual prcduce of ict land and 
btour Ihis dcfinuioo evidendy ineludes manu&ciuied produce, as 
well as (be produce of tbe land Now supposiog a nation for a course of 
years was to add what it saved from us yearly revenue to its 
manufacturing capital solely, and noi to its capiiaJ employed upon laod. 
II IS evidem ibai it might ^ownehar according lo ihe above deiiniuon. 
wiihoui a power of supporting a greaia oumber of labourers, aod. 
(berefere, wsihout an inerease in the real funds (u the mamundnee of 
latouf Ihere would, noiwiibstaodiog, be a demand for labour from ihe 
power which each manufactiset would possess, or ai least dunk be 
possessed, of eticsiding his old stock in Bade or of setting up desh 
works. Tbiis demand would of course raise the price of labour, but if Ihe 
yearly stock of provisions lo die country was ooi inaeasing, this rise 
would soon tin ow to be merely eommal as ibe price of provisions 
musi oecessarily nse wiih ii. The denafid for manufactising labourers 
might, indeed, enuee many from agiKuhise and (bus tend to dimmish 
(be annual produce of ibe land, bui we will suppose any effect of this 
kiod to bo compeosated by improvements in ibe msBumeots of 
agrictiliure, and die quanoiy of provisioos therefore lo remain (be same 
Improvemenis in manufacturing maebiocry would of course take place, 
and this circumsiaoce, added to ihe gieaur number of haods employed 
10 maoufacturcs, suould eause die annual produce of die bbour of the 
country lobe upon (be whole gready increased The wraith (hetefere of 
(be country would be incrcasmg annually, accerding to the definiuon, 
and might noi. perhaps, be incteasiog very slowly. 

The Quesiioo is whether suealdu mcreasing lo this way, has any 
(endeocy to better the eondiuon of ibe labouring poor It is a self* 

Plro (aiMeC (acl JoAa^iv lab haul sCkur^YiM i 

T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 4170S I 

cvjdcttt ptoMUMOo itut an; ganera] nw a ibe pnct labour, ihc Mock 
of provjaiooa tamainiegdu same, can ooly be a oomitul nse, a« ji tnuM 
vet; ahotil; be fo])o\*ed b; a proponiooa] tite a ihe pnet of 
ptoviajoot. Hie ittcreaae in die price of labour, dicrcfore. «bicli i*e 
have tuppoad. would have luUe or no effect in giving the labouring 
poor a gteaiet command ovet the neccManes and ccAvcotencee of life 
In itua Ktpeci they would tc nearly a the ^ame aiatc ai befcee tn one 
oaber respect dwy svould be in a wota state A greater pecfKttuA of 
them svould be employed in tnanu^cuiree. and fewer, cceuMuendy. a 
agnculiuN And this exchange of piofeasieeu will be allowed. I duni:. 
by alL u> be very unfavourable in respect of health, one etaeniial 
ingtedieni of happinese, besides tbe greater lAcetiainty of 
manufacninng latour. ariang frceit the capriciout lastc of man, tbe 
accidenif of war, and other cautet 

Cl may be raid, perhapt. that tuch an Astance as I have stippoaed 
could not occur, because ihc rise in the price of provisions svould 
immediately turn some addiuooal capital into tbe charAd of 
agriculiuN But this is an cveni which may take place veiy slowly, at it 
should tc remarked lhai a rite a the ptKe of labour had preceded tbe 
nte of ptovisioet, arvt would, tbtrefere, impede the good cffecit upon 
agnculiurc. which the increased value of the produce of the land might 
otherwise have occasioned 

ti might also tc said, that the additicnal capital of the nauon suould 
enable it to imptfi provisions suificient {or the maintenance of those 
whem us Slock could employ A small counify wuh a large navy, and 
great inland xcommodations for carnage, such at Holland, may. 
indeed, import and dtsibutc an effeciual quaniity of provitions: but the 
pnee of provitiont must be very high in make such an imponation and 
disfribuucA antwet in large counines less advaniagcoutly 
circumstanced a this re;^et. 

An insianct, acciiraidy such at I have supposed, may not perhaps, 
ever have cceumd. but I have link doubt that Astances nearly 
apprtnimaung to it may be found suthoui any very laborious search 
Indeed I am strongly inclined to think that England bcrtelf, tmee tbe 
Revoluuon, aJfcrds a very striking cliKidaiion of tbe argument a 

Hw commerce of tbit country, internal as well as exicmal. has 
ccrtaAly been rapidly advancing during the last centAy Ihe 
exchangeable value in the market of EAope of the aiAual produce of 
III land and labour has, without doubt, increased very considerably 
But. upon examination, ii will be found that the increase has teen 
chiefly in the produce of labour and not in the ptcduce of land, and 
iberefere, though tbe wealth of the nation has bKn advancAg with a 


CoviuUiiontofC IsiitfilCenaio. 

Alt EifOv riH F‘upt'laiinn 


quck p»cc, ihc cftrcnia] fundi for ibe majounancc of bovc t«cn 
jecrasiAg very slowly, and thetaault is sisdi as mighi be expected Tbe 
ificresstfig v*eslU) of the eaiioo has had UiUe cr no (endeoc; to bener 
(be ooodfiion of (he labouring poor Tbey have not. I beUeve. a neater 
ccsiunand of the oecessasies and ccAveoiences of life, and a much 
greater preporuon of ihcm than at (be period of the Revolution is 
employed in manufactures and ciosvded together in close aod 
unwholescmc rooms 

Could ne believe the saatetneoi of Dr RKe that (be populaiioo of 
England has decreased since the Revoluucn. ii would eveo appear iba( 
(be effectual funds (u (be mainnnaDCt of labour had been declining 
dunng (be progress of wealth in odicr respecis For I conceive that it 
may be laid down as a general rule that if (he effectual fuods for (be 
mainunance of labour are increasing, that i& if the temtoty can 
maintam as well as (be stock employ a greater munber of latourers. this 
additional number wJI quickly spring up. even in spue of sueb wars as 
Di Price eoiimeraics And, consequently, if the populaiicn of any 
country bas been oationary, or decliniog, we may safely infer, ihai. 
however i( may have advaoced in maou^eiuneg wealth, its effectual 
fund' for die maioteoanec of labour cannot have inaeased. 

ti IS difficult, however, to conceive ihai the population of England 
has been declirung since the Revoluiion. though every testimeny 
concurs to prove (hat its loaease, if ii has increased, has been very 
slow, in (he controversy which the quemon bas occasioned. Dr Rice 
undoubtedly appears to be much mere completely master of his subject, 
and to poissess nure aceuraie information, than bis opponents. Judging 
simply from Ihis cooiroversy. I thmk cne should say that Di Price's 
point IS nearer being proved than Mr Howleti's. Tn^. probably, lies 
bctsucen the two seatements, t*u (bis supposiiion mahes the inaease of 
populatioo since the Revotuuon to have been vary slow in comparison 
wiih the increase of wealth. 

Ihai Ibe prcduce of the land has been decreasing, or even that u 
has been abs^uiely stationary dunng (be last century, few mII be 
disposed 10 believe Ihc enclosure of commons and waste lands 
certamly tends to increase the fixd of die couosy. but it has teen 
assened with ccnfidence (hat the enclosure of common fields bas 
fiequcnily had a contrary effect, and that large tracts of land which 
{crmetly produced great quantities of cern, by being convened into 
pasiise both employ fewer bands and feed fewer mouibs than bcfcee 
(beir (TKlosure It is. indeed, an acLoowledged iiudu that pa.>tiur( land 
produces a atialler quanmy of buman subsistence than com land of the 
same natisal fisniluy. and could it be clearly ascertained dial fiom (he 
increased demand for buiehers' meat of the best qualiiy, and its 

Plro (aiMeC Ixl JoAa^iv la&i Paul iCkurA YiM i 


T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 4170S I 

ificreawd pnn it* couMoefice, a gteaict qL^nuiy of good land bas 
anttoaJly t*cfi employed in grszjog, ihe dmunuicn o4 buman 
ubaiaicnct. «hKl) lhi« circumstance sivuld occasioo, mighi luve 
couAUrtelafictd ibe advantagn derived ficen ihe eedoeure staaie 
landa, aod the general improvements m bu4ban^ 

ti scarcely need be remarked ibat the high pnet ol tvtcheta' meal 
ai pretent, and nt losv price formerly, svere not cauted by tbe scarcity in 
tbe CTK cate or the plenty lo tbe other, bui by tbe diflereoi expeose 
ausiained at the different penodt. ui prepariog catde for the nwtcc It 
II, however, pottible, that there might have been more cotilc a hieiAed 
yoars ago ui the counsy than ai presenc but no doubt can be 
entertained, that tbsre is moeb more meat of a superior quality brought 
to martei at present ihaci ever there was. ^Mieo the price of butebetn' 
meal was very low, cattle svere reared chiefly upon watte lands: and 
excepe for seme of the principal markets, were probably killed with but 
Imlc other failing Ihe veal ihai is sold so cheap in tome distant 
counties at present bears linle other resemblance than the name, to that 
which IS bought in London Formerly, the price of butchers, meat 
would not pay ftf reanog. and scarcely fer fCediog, cardc on laod that 
would answer in tillage: but the preset price sull not only pay ftf 
&tung canlc oo the very best land bui will even aJow of the reariog 
many, cn land ihai would tear gend crops of com. Ihe same number of 
caiile, or even the same weight of cattle at the different periods when 
killed will have consumed tif I may be allosved the expression) very 
dffereot ouaniities of humaci substance A ftned beast may lo some 
respects be considered, in the language of the French economists, as an 
unproductive labourer he has added nothiog to the value of the raw 
produce that he has coosumed. Ihe present system of grating, 
undoubtedly lends more thaci the former sysirm to diminish tbe 
quantity of human subsistence in the country, in propomon to the 
general fenilityof the land 

t would not by soy means be undersiooJ to say that the former 
system either could or ought to have contioued Ihe inaessing price of 
butchers' meat is a oatural and uicvuable coosequence of the general 
progress of cu III vat icn: but I cannot help thinking, that the present great 
dcinaod for butchers' meat ttf the tost quliiy, and the quaotity ttf good 
land that is in consequeoce sooually employed to product it together 
with the great oumbet of horses at present kept for pleasure, are the 
chief causes that have peeveoied the quastiiy of human foed in the 
country from keeping pace with the geoerally lecreasad feroluy cif tbe 
soil: and a diange of custttn m these respects would, I have lirtlc doubt, 
have a very seosible effect on the quantity of subsistence to the country, 
and consequently CA Its population 


FOvadiiioniofC IsiiwHCensio, 

Alt Eisav riH F‘uptilaiinn 


Hk cmplojment of much of ibe mo«t fcrole bod jn gtaiAg. ihe 
jmprovcmctttt it* sgncuhural lestrumcciM. the ncresM of large b(m«. 
and paniciJatly die dmunuucA of the ounber of cocisget dtfcughoui 
(be Kinjdcen. aOI concu (rv prove. ibM iherc arc not peobabl; ao many 
pcraooa employed a aftjcultufal labour nosu aa ai the ponod of the 
Revoluhon ^^aievet increaae of populauon. iherelMe, hat taken 
place, muei be employed aUnoat wholly jn manufacnsca, and ji la well 
knoMi that the failure of aonte of these manu&ciurea. merely Aon (he 
caprice of faditcn, such aa (be adopiicn of mtslAS insievl of ailka. or 
of <boe>s(rings and covered teutons, inrteui of btKkIea and metal 
buiiona. combined with (be restraints a the market of labour arismg 
from corperauon and parish laiva, have fiequenUy drivee ibouaands on 
charuy for sappett Ihe great mcreaae of the poor ratea is, indeed, of 
Itself a strong evideoct (bat the pocr have not a neater command of (he 
necessaries and ccnveenencea of life, and if to the ctmsidoauoo. (hat 
(beir condition in this respect la rather suesae than beticr, be added the 
circumstance, (bat a mudi ^cater pscpcrticsi of them is employed in 
large manufactcsiea. (Afavourable both to health and vinttf. i( nusi be 
acfcn owl edged, (hat the increate of wealth of late years has had no 
(endeocy to iDceease the happutess of the bbounog poor. 

Ihai entry increase of (he stock u revenue of a nation cannot be 
ccfuidered as an locteasc of the real hinds for the naietetiance of 
labour and, tbarelcre, cannot have the same good effect upon (be 
ccstdiuoo of (be poor, will appear a a stieng light if the argununt be 
applied to Clufia 

Dr Adam Smith observes tbaiOiina has probably Icng been as nch 
as the natise of he lawa and inaiiiuucau wJI elmii. but that with other 
laws and AsUtAiooa, and if fceeign ccanmece sucre bad in honour, ahe 
might auJ be much riche Hk qucsuoo is, would sucb an loctcase of 
wealth be an increase of the real funds for the mairucnaoce of labour, 
and conaepuently tend to place the losuer classes of pecplc in China a a 
state of greater plenty? 

h i> evident, that if trade and foreign commerce were held a great 
hciiour A China, fittit the plenty of labourers, aod (be cheapness of 
labour, ahe might uork up inaou^ctures fer forcipi sale to an immetiae 
amoisit h is equally evident that frent (be great bulk of provisions and 
(be amaiiog enetii of ha Aland territory she could oot in returo import 
such a quantity as would be any sensible adduion to ibe annual stock of 
subsisienct in the country Her immense ameunt of maDufeciurca, 
(berefere, she would eichaoge, chiefly, for lusurics collected horn all 
pans of the world Ai present, it appears, that no labour whatever is 
spaed A ihc productioo of food. Ihe country is rather ova-peoplc in 
propoiKA to what its stock can employ, and labour is, therefore, so 

Pirn (aiMM Ixl Joha^ic la & Paul i Ckur^YiM i 


Thomas Malthus < 170S i 

sbuttdafii. (bai oo paies arc takn to sbndsc it Tlie cooMauence of Uiii 
11. proinbly, die jtmcsi producuoe of fcod thai die sojI can poaaibl; 
afford, fer n will M generally obrened. ihai procesMf for abridging 
)at«iui. dMugh dwy may enable a farmar u> bring a certam quamiiy of 
gtaio cheaper to marktei, lend radicrio dinururb dian increaie ifie i*tiole 
produce: and in agnctiliurc, therefore, may, in ronte rerpecu, be 
cciiaidercd ralher as private ifian public advaniager. 

An iinnuAse capital could not it employed lo Cbioa a preparing 
manufacnires lor fiseigD irade svidioui laltiiig off ro many latourers 
from agrictiliure as to alut (bir siaie of things, and lo some degree to 
diminish the produce of the country Ihe demand for manufacturing 
latciuretf would oaturally raise the price of latcuir. bui a< Ihe quanoty 
of subrifteoce would noi be locreased. die price of provisions svould 
keep pace sudi it or even more than keep pace Mib it if the quantity of 
provisioor were really decreasing llic country would te evidently 
advancAg a suealdt the exchangeable value of the annual produce (j 
III land and labour would be aontially augmented, yet the real fundi ftf 
tbe mainteoance of latour would be siaiionary, cr eveo dedioing, and. 
ccAsequently, the inaearuig wealth of the oaiion wculd raiher tend to 
depress than to raise the eondiuen of tbe poor With regard to the 
cemmond over the eeceiiaries and comforts of life, they would be in 
tbe ssene or raiher suerse siatc than before; and a grcai part of them 
would have exchanged tbe healthy labours of agticuhise fer tbe 
tinhealiby occupsuooi of manufactisAg ioduiiiy 

Ihe argtimmt pvrhapi. appears clearer wben applied lo Chma. 
because it i< generally allowed that the wraith of Cbiiu has been long 
siatiooary Wiib regard to aoy oilicrcouoiry it might be always a mailer 
of dispute at whteb of the two pericds, compared, wealth was 
ificreasAg the fastest, as it i< upcsi the rapidity of tbe locreasc of suealth 
at any panieular period thai Dr Adam .^midi says the ccndition of the 
poor depends It is evtdenL however, that two nauens might increase 
exactly with the same rapidity m the caebangeable value of the aontial 
produce of ihcu land aod labour, yet if one had applied iiself chiefly to 
agriculiure. and the other chiefly lo commerce, the funds for tbe 
mauitoiance of labour, aod coosequently the effect of the increase of 
wealth in each oanoo, suould it extremely differeoi In that whidi bad 
applied Itself chiefly to agneuliure, the poor would live in grcai pleoiy, 
and populaitcn suould rapidly increase In that which had applied usclf 
chiefly 10 commerce, the peer would be comparauvely but little 
benefited and cona^uenily populatioo suould increaix slowly 


CoufsiUiiontofC luiitfUCensio. 


^itrtnoia ibe ptcper dffumttoa ef Mr wtahk a fVie • Mranin 
fnea bt Mf Freitei for eiauvltnag ail ai 

ui’p'otneim iabairrtti, aei tbelnie reasiv > 7^ l/rbau'i^ anffiee/j 
an^ tuana/a^Tura/j tt^nfiii/pfrult^iii f lo iaS*'A^lf Jto'tgh aoi 
ti7 Ov Stale A reirtaetabie pasiofe ut Dr Frve's iwo mJiuxo of 
OOeenaiKias • E/rae nf Of Pnte la aiMbiratg ihe itafpeaese aad 
rap>^ papaMfui of eitjefiy, fri ill ptesdiar si^e ef 

eifilisuian • Ha a^ra/ieagf iw) be tipteisEfeom ibiaitii^ aas eyn w 
Mf ihffiealuei la ibt wat w Jie irnffei^tmeai <if UKitry 

A QtesTiON $c£bis WATUiLALLy Tc AKue HESS utcitwr ihe 
«xcbangeabU vsloe ol the anmial peoJiKe ihc land and latouf be the 
ptofier deficiiuofi the \«calih of a eouiur;, or «hetbet the gtos 
peodocc of the land, according lo ihe Rench economiau, cnay not be a 
mote actiuaie definiticn Certain jt it ibai every iocteate of t*ealtb. 
according to ihc dcfinuioo of the eteeumjaif. mII be ao increase of the 
ftindr for the numunance of labour, aod coosequeoU; mII always teod 
10 amcUoraie the coodjtKA the labouring poor, though an incrcaae of 
wealtb, accordjog to Dr A^tn Snuth't dcfiniiioo. mII by no means 
jovanaUyhavc the same teodcncy And yet it may not follow from this 
ccnsideraiion that Di Adam Smith's definiiicA it nee jun It seertit in 
many respects ittipropcr to eeelude the clothing aod Icdging of a tvtiole 
pccple from any part of their revenue Much of it may, to deed, be of 
very (nvial aivl uoimportaoi value lo comparison with the food of the 
country, yet etdl k may be &irly considered at a part of its reveoue: 
and. therefore, the cnly point in which I should differ from Dr Adam 
Smith If where he seems to consider every incr(a.He of the revenue or 
stock of a society as an mcrease of (he fiiods for the maioteoance of 
lat«ur. and coesequently as tendmg always to amclioraie (be condition 
of (be poor. 

Hk fine silks and cottons, ibe laces, aod other ornanenial luturies 
of a rich coutuiy, may ccnoibute very considerably to augmeot (be 
exchangeable value of us afioual produce; yet they consibute teu ui a 


T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 4170S I 


vcty small degm lo augntcrtt du nus of hapfMttess le ihe sociaty, aod 
II appears u> me ibM u is widi seme view lo (be real mliry of the 
peodocc ihu we ouglu to estimate (be productiveoese or 
(lApeodiKtiveoeas of diSef<n( stfis of labour Hie Preneb acooonists 
cciuider all )obo(if employed in manufacturer as ufiprcdoctive 
Comparing it with (be labwr employed upon land. I should be perfectly 
diiposed to agree Mth them, but not exactly fer the leasoea ivhjdi dtey 
give Ihey say dtat latour employed upen land la productive because 
(be produce, over and above completely paying the labourer and (he 
&rmer. aJfcrds a clear rcot to dw landord, and that (be bbour 
employed upoo a piece of lace i< uoprcdoctive because i( merely 
replaces (he provisioos lha( (he workman had ccnnimed. and (he stock 
of hi< employer. wi(boui affording any clear teni sihaievet. Btu 
supposiog (he value of dve surougbi lace to be sucb as dtau besides 
paying in (be mosi comple(e manner die workman and his employer, it 
cotJd afford a elear teru (o a third parson, M appears to me that, in 
ccmparisoo wsih the labour employed upen laod, ii would be still as 
(inprodiKtive as ever Ihough. aocordiog to the leascrung used by the 
Prweh economists, die man employed in (he maruibeiiirc of lace 
would, in this case, seem (o be a productive labourer Yei accordmg to 
(beir definition of the wealth of a siaio, he ought noi to tc considered ui 
(bat light He will have added eothing to (be gross product of ibe land' 
he has ccAsumcd a portion of this gross produce, and has left a bit of 
lace in leium; and diougb he may sell ibis bii of laca for three times (he 
quantity of provisioos that be ctmsumed wbilsi he was making ii. and 
(bus t< a very productive labourer wtih regard to himself, yet he cannot 
be consMlered as having |)y bis labour to any essential part of (he 
nebes of the siaie Hie clear rent therefore, dial a certain produce can 
afford, after paying the expenses of procuruig it does nos appear lo be 
(be sole cnteiion, by sthicb lo judge of die productiveness or 
unproductiveoess to a siaie of any partictilarspacses of labour 

Suppose (hai iwn hundred thousaod men. wbo are now employed 
ici producing maou^ciures that cniy lend to gratify die vaniiy of a few 
neb people, were to be employed upon seme taneo and uoctiUivaicd 
lands, afid to produce cnIy half (be quantity of feed (hat they 
(bemseivts coosuraed: they would be sidl mote prcductivc labourers 
wiih regard to the state dm (hey were before, (bough dicir labour, so 
&r ftan affordiog a tcni (o a third peiscn. svould but half replace (he 
provisioos used lo obteuiing the product Is (beir fomiet employment 
(bey coosumed a certain ponicn of die foed of tbe coucitry and left in 
reium some silks aod laces. In (beir laiter employmeoi (bey coosumed 
(be same quanoiy of feed and left in rctm provision for a hundred 
(bousand men lSere can be hnJe doubi which of ilic two legacies 

eLimaCUff'&CHrt.OlLV pueLOlHIWS 

FOeadiitontorc IsiiuilCenaio. 

Alt EifOv riH F‘upttlaiinn 


wouJd tc ibe mosi r«a])y bettriicjsl lo the couttiry, and ji Mil. I ibittk:. 
be allowed ihai the sKaldi which aajpponed the two bucidrcd (boueand 
met) while ibey were producing ailka and lace« would have teen mae 
usefjll; employed in ^upponing (bent while they wete ptodociog Ihe 
additional quanuty of food. 

A capital employed upon land may be unproductive u> ihe 
individual dial employ) it and yet be highly prcductive to die society A 
capital employed in oade, on die consary, maybe highly productive to 
the individual, and yei be almost totally unpeoduciive lo the society 
and this It die teotci) why I should call manufaciising labour 
unpeoductive. m ctunpanaon of that which la employed in agrKulture, 
and not for die reaten given by the Reoch economists It I', lodetd, 
abnoai imp^sible to see the great Idnunes that are made in trade, and 
the liberaliiy with whidi so many metchams live, and yet agree m the 
siatemeni of the economists, that manufacturers con only grow rich by 
depriving themselves of die funds destined ftf then suppert In many 
beandws of trade the proCcs aec so great as w>ould allow of a cleat rent 
to a third petson, but as there is no third petsen in the case, and as aO 
the profits centre in the master manu^ciurts, ci metchani, he seems to 
have a fair chance of growing nch. wsihout much pnvation. aod we 
ccAsequenily see large fortunes act^uired in trade by persons who have 
net been remarked for dicir pstsimcny. 

Daily experience proves that the labour employed in trade and 
manufactures is sufficiently productive to individuals, bui u certainly is 
net productive in ibe same degree to Ihe state. Every accession to flic 
feed of a country tends lo ibe immediate benefit of the whole society: 
bui Ihe forrunes made in trade tend but in a remote and unctnain 
manner to ibe same end. and in some respects have even a contrary 
tendency. Tbe hone trade of consumpiicn is by ^r the most important 
cade of every nation. China is the ricbesi country in the world, without 
any other Piioing ibcn, Icr a moment, foreign cade out of the question, 
the man who, by an ingenious manu&ciure. obtains a double pcnion 
oui of the old stock of provisions, will certainly not to t* so useful to 
the state as the man who, by his latoui, adds a single diare to ihe 
ferraer siod;. Ihc consumable commcdities of silks, laces, cinkets. and 
expensive furniture, are undoubtedly a pan oi the revenue of the 
society: but they are the revenue only of tlw neb, and not of the society 
in general An inaease in this pen of the revenue of a state, cannot, 
tberefere, be considered of the same imponance as an increase of food, 
which terms the principal revenue of the ^eat mas of die people 

Foreign coiunerce adds to ihe wealth of a state, according lo Dr 
Adam Smith's definition, though not according lo ibe definiticei of ibe 
economists ks principal use. aiwl the reason, probably, that ii has in 

Pim laiMee Ixl JoAa^iv la&i Paul i 


T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 4170S I 

£(t)Hal br«t) hclil in siKh higb eumauoo js dui M adds gresU; to ihe 
exumsl ptmer ol a naucn or lo its posi'rt of oommsediog the bbotir of 
oiber coimirus. but u will be found. up«A a neat (uniAauon, to 
ccntnbuu but linic to die utcreasc of ihe jniemaJ fuidt ki the 
nuifiufiaiice of labour, and eooaequemly t*u iHdc to (be luppuie«s; of 
(be greaieei pan of rociet;. In the oaru^ peo^ese of a sia(e towards 
nebas, manufKiurta, and foreign commerce would foDow, lo (heir 
order, die high cultivation of (he sod lo Europe, this natural order of 
(biogr has toen invened, and (be soO bas bnn cultivated from (be 
redun^iKy of manufacuinng capiial. instead of maou^cdircs rasing 
from (he redundaiKy of capiial employed upoo laod IIk superior 
eneouragenwnt ihai has beeo given (o the lodusiry of the towiu, and (he 
ccASMuent higher pnet ihai i< paid for (be labour of arufieers dun for 
(be labceir of duMe employed in husbandry, arc probably tbe rejsens 
why so much soil m Bisope remaios uncultivaied Had a different 
policy been pursued throughout EuroK, d might imdoutecdly have 
beeo much more populois iban at preseiw. and y«t oot be more 
locumbered byiis population 

I cannoi quit Ihis civiois sub|ec( of (he difficulty arisiog fresn 
populatioo, a subject ilut appears (o me (o deserve a ininu(c 
lovcsiigaiioo and able di<eu«ieei much beyond my powet lo give ii. 
wiihoui (abng notice of an exnaordinaiy passage lo Di Pnet's two 
volumes of Observations Having given some tables on Ihe 
probabdiuas of life, in towns and in die eouoiry, he says (Vol II, p. 
2Ai). Rom dus comparison, it appears with how much iiuib great cities 
have beeo called ihe graves of manktmd It must also eoovince all who 
ccAsider it (bat acceding to ibe obsetvauoo, at the esul of ihe fourth 
essay, a ihe former volume, it is by no mearu stnctly proper to 
ccsuider our diseases as (be enginal intenooo of natise Tbcy are, 
wiihoui dceite. lo general our own ctraiion. Were there a country wbsre 
(be uihabitanis led lives entirely natural and virtuous, few of ihem 
would die without measuring out (he whole pwriod of present eiisunce 
allotted to (bem: pain and distemper would be unknown among them, 
and death would come upon them like a deep, in ccnsequence of no 
other cause (ban gradual and unavoidable decay 

t own (hat I felt myself obliged to Aaw a vary opposite cooclusion 
from die feds advanced in Dr Rice's two volumes I had for some time 
beeo aware that p«p*Jaiioo and food increased ui differeei ratios, aod a 
vague opinicn had beeo Coating lo my miod that they could only be 
kept equal by some species of misery or vice, but dw perusal (rf Dr 
Price's twv volumes of Observaticns. after that opioion had toen 
ccnceived, raised ii ai once to ccnvicucn Witb so maoy facts m his 
view (0 prove the exoaordinasy rapidity wi(b whiA pcpulatiosi 

eiiCTacuf &CH<e.xfiLv nisitsHiws 

FOvadaiiontofC luiitfUCsnsio, 

Alt EifOv riH F‘uptilaiinn 


ificrssn \*tuft uttcbtcKed. and Mih audi a tody of evidettn tefcic 
lum (o cluctdaie avail die manficf by idiich flie geoen] lawa of naiise 
fepNfi a redundafii populauon. ii la petfecily inconcaivable (o me how 
he could v*Ti(e Ok paaaage ihai I have quoted He waa a aaenuois 
advccaic for early matnagei. a< die be<t preiervative a^Asi viciois 
mannrra He had no fanciful eoocepiKiu about the extinction of flie 
paisun betwceo ihe irxes. like Mi Godwin, nor did he evei ihuik of 
eludui£ the diffimliy lo (be wayi hjoted ai by Mi Condtfcet He 
fieqitfnily (alki of fjving ihe prolifick poweri of oature loom lo exert 
(bemaelves Yei with there ideaa, (hat bir (inderaianding could ereape 
fton (he obviour aod oecearary loflarence (bat an undictked peculation 
would uicreaae, beyood companren, faster ihao the earth, by (he best 
direeied exetuciu of man. could produce food for ns rupport. appears 
(0 me as artcniahing as if be had lesirted (be eonclusioo of one of the 
plauieet prcporiticnr of Eudid 

Di Price, speaking of (he diSercoi stager of (he civilized state, 
says, ‘Ihe Hm, or simple stages of civilizaooo. are those rdiieb &vour 
HMt the increase and (be happiness of mankuid' He (ben instances (be 
Amanean eolonier, as being at (bat iime lo the fiia and happieri of (he 
slates ibai he had dereritcd. and as affording a very striking proof of 
(be effects of tbe different stager of cjviliiauon on populauoo But he 
does nee seem to be aware (bat (be happners of the Amoieanr 
depended mucb lers open the* petuUar degree of eiviliiaiioo (ban 
upon (be peculiarity of ibeir siiuauoo. as new eolonier. upon (heir 
Ittving a greai plenty of ferule uncultivated land In pans of Norway. 
Deemark, or Ssveden. cr ui this country, two or (bree bunAed years 
ago. he might have found pertaps nearly the same degree of 
civilizaticii, but by no mcaos (be same happiness ot (he same increase 
of populaiicn quotes bimself a statute of Henry die Ergbtb. 
ccsnplaAing of the decay of ullage, aod the enhanced pnet of 
provisjoor, 'whereby a marvellous number of people were rendered 
lecapablc of maiMainiog ihemselver and &milies' The supancr degree 
of civil liberty whicb prevailed in America contiibuied, wiiboui doubt. 
IIS share to promote the leduriiy. happiness, aod population of there 
slates, but cveo civil liberty, all posver^l as it is, will not create fresh 
land The Ameneans may be raid pvihapr. to eojoy a grcaiet degree of 
civil litcny. now ibey are an uidepetidtni people, than while they were 
ici subjeetioo lo England but we may be perfectly sure tbai population 
will net Icng continue lo inaeare with the same rapidity as it did then 

A persoo wbo eooiemplaied the happy siau the lower classes of 
pacple in America twenty yoarr ago would nansally msh lo retain 
(bem foe ever in ihai state, and migbt dunk, pertiaps, that by preventuig 
(be mrcducticn of manufactures and luxury be might effen his 

Pird laiMee Ixl Johnnie la&i Paul sCkurA YiM i 


T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 4170S I 

pufp^. but Ik mjghi aa tesfottaUy np<ci lo preveni a *\St or 
nuaiTBS from growjiij old by never etposiog bet to die <m cr air llie 
tiiuaiion of DOW colonies, svell governed, it a UMtn nl yotiih dial no 
cflona cao afte)i Hute are, indeed, many mods of neaimeni in Ihe 
politKaL at svcil at aeimal. body, (bat coninbtfie to accelaau or retard 
(be aporoaebs of age. bui diere can be no clucice of tuctett. in any 
nude dial could t* devised, for keeping ojibs of (hem in perpetual 
youtb. By encouraging ihc inAinry of the tosvnt mote dun the indusuy 
of (be eouoiry, Euiom may Be tajd. partapa, lo have brought cn a 
pteniauire old age. A dfferecit policy in (bit respect would mfutc fresh 
life and vigour loio every s(atc. ^Miile from the law of prunogenuutc. 
and odur Eisnpean curiomt, land bears a mooopolypriee. a capital can 
never be employed in ii with much advantage lo the individiiah and. 
(berefere, it is eot probable thai (be soil should be properly culuvated 
And. duugh a every civilized state a das of propricters aod a class of 
labourers must esisi, yet ctk permanesi advantage wculd always resuh 
from a nearer equalizaiicn of prepeny 'Hie greater (be number of 
proprietors, die smaller must be the number of labourers a greater pan 
of stKKty would b< ici the happy state of possessing propeny and a 
smaller pan in the isihappy siate of possessing no other pmpeny than 
(beu labM. But die best dueteed esaniens, though they may alleviate, 
can never remove tbe pressure of want, aod it will b* difScult for any 
persoo who ccntempbies the genume siiustson of man on earth, and the 
general laws of nature, (o suppose it possible ibat any, the most 
cnligburKd. efforts could place mankiod in a state where 'few would 
die suthoui riKasurmg out tbe whole period of present existence 
allcucd to ihemi where pam aod disicttiper would be unknown amoog 
(bem: and death would come upon them like a sleep, m consMuetice of 
no other cause thao gradual and unavoidable decay.’ 

Cl IS, ufidoubiedly. a nwt dsheanenieg reflection ibat the great 
obstacle m the way to any exiracrdinary improvement to society is of a 
nature that we can eever hepe lo overconM. The perpetual lendeney in 
(be race of man to mcrease beyond the means of subsistence is one of 
(be general laws of aenmaied naiiire whieb we eao have no teasen to 
txpece will change Yet, discouragiog as the contemplaiioo of this 
difSculty must be to ibos« whose eiertiens are budaUy directed to the 
improvement of the buman species, it is evident that eo p^issible gcod 
can arise fron any endeavours to slur ii over or keep u to the 
background Oo the ocnirary, the most baleful mischiefs may be 
expacicd from the unmanly cceiduct of noi damg to bet suib because 
II IS iBiplcasieig Indepcndeoily of whai relates to (bis greai obstacle. 
sufficKrt yet remains to be done for mankiod to animate us to the most 
(inremiticd exenicn Bui if we proceed without a ihtfougb knowledge 

eLiC7acuirscHia,oiLv pusLaiHiws 

rsvfuUoontofC IsiitfilCsnaio. 

Ajt Essay nn F‘upti!imnn 


and actunu con^Aauiofi e4 Ute ouufe, axunt. and ma^niiudc c4 the 
djiSculucs \*e bax^ to encoociiet, or if sk unwiaely direct out cflona 
lowarda an ob^et in suhicb sue cannot hcfc let ruettsa, ve shall noi 
onJy exhauft out sueogih in £ruitle« exerticni; and reiiuA at aa great a 
distance a« ever from ibe tuinmii of cut suishet, but we shall be 
pcrpctuall; ctudKd by the recoO of this rock of Sisyphus 

Pirp (iidseO (acl Jahs^SL la &i Paul i ClurA>YiM > 


fOfuvwU pfeiskfe of ABrrtt <n mot, from •ttt pnarr^W of 
/■ya^noi cwu to itrrcl our V/ptz to W^Acii'v Stole of inol 
meims’Peoi tnW out lirax ^ the fotrOtcvBtdft rf OoB • Tire Hiv'tf, 
ptobt^f, a ptoerzefor ‘*~**j t<olter nBo tend • TTiMfv 

of the forzoaufto of teurd • &t e \ l ett ^ iOi from Mf »«(U of the be&v 
Ern f OT OTift ftom the operzpiott <f ftoeto! l0*>t • SsrtlettBoiz ftoto 
Mf rf bfe onnog frotu itteprtftevBt of pcpnUzooo 

Tkeview oc human upe v>tidi rtsulM fic»m ihe ccnumpbuon of tlK 
ccnnani pmuire ol difires on man £roni the difficuU; of 9ub«istet)cv. 
by ahcwtttg ibe IjtiU exjKciauoo dial be can Kasooably eoicfiaitt of 
perfKUbOjiy oo canh, 5eetn« «songly lo poittt lu« hofict lo (be fuuiN 
And (be lemfXaiiooa lo (vtucli be mud necessarjiy tc eiposed. from (he 
ofwaijoo nf ibo‘ie lasus of ewde mIucIi ve have been eiaminicig. 
wouJd setin lo represertt the ivotid a the iigln a sulticb ii bas teen 
fiequettUy cooeidered. as a sia(e of (fial and «choo( of vifioe 
preparatory lo a supaior dale of hapfnneaf But I hope I tbaJi be 
pardoned if I auempi to give a view in some dc^et diffctcni of ihe 
siiuaUon (tf man oo canti, vvtudi appeara lo me lo be more cooriHeni 
Mih the vartous photttnena of nature wbich ve observe around ua and 
more ccnacAaot to our ideas ttf the potvar, goodnesa, and 
fceeknowledge of the Deity. 

ti cannot be eonatdered a< an tinitnproving exerciae of ibe human 
mind 10 endeavour to 'vindcaieihe suaya of God to man' if sue prccecd 
Mih a proper diairuat of our rwvn understanding!; and a |uai sense of our 
insufficiency to eompechend die reason of aJI sue see, if ve hail every 
ray of light Mih ^autude. and, when no light appears, dunk (bat the 
darkness is from widun and not from Mihoui, a^ tow with humble 
deference lo the supreme wisdom of bim svbose 'ihou^is are above 
out thoughts' 'as the heavens ate hi^ atovt the earth.' 

(n all our feeble anempas, however, to 'hnd out (be Almigbiy lo 
perfeciion', ii seems absolutely necessary dial we should reason from 
nature up to nature's Cod and not presume to reasen from God to 


Ajt Eifov nn F‘uptilimnn 


ttttore Hk momcAi aJIow ouf «Hvn to ssK sflty some dungs uc ttoi 
oiberuiw, insuad ol mdoavouiittg to account for (bem as dwy are, sve 
shall never Otow where lo slop, we abal) be led aio Ihe grosacsi and 
moat childish abeurditKa. all pro^eaa in ihc Oiowladge of ibe way< of 
Providence mun necessarily tc ai ao end, aodihe ruidy will evco cease 
10 be M itnpriM'ing eierciae of ibe hunan nuod lofieiite power is so 
vasi and locomprelicnable an idea (bai ibe itnnd of man rmisi 
necessorily t« bewildered in the contempbucn of ii \Vidi die crude 
and pi^le cooctpucns which sve sortieumes form of this arsibuie of 
Ibe Deify, we migbi imagjcie ibai God could call into beiog raynuls and 
myriads of eiiatcncea, all free Crorti pain aod iniperfeciioo, al) emineni 
le goodotss and msdoni. aO capable of die bigliesi enjoyments, and 
umumbctcd as die peMOM Uiroughoui lefinite space Bui when from 
these vain and eiiravagani dreams of fancy, sve lum our eyas to the 
book of naiurc v*hcte alcne v*e cao read God as he is, we see a 
ccnsiani sucecsion of seniicni bcing& riseeg apparently from so many 
specks of maitcr, going through a Icng and scmctimas painful process 
ifi this svcrid, but many of them artaaiing, ere die urmaiaucA of ii. such 
high qualiiscs and powers as seem to indicaie their fitness for soroe 
superior stale Ought we not ibeti lo ctfrecs our crude aod puerile ideas 
of infinite Power from the coeiemplaiioo of wbat we actually see 
exisueg? Cao sue judge of the Cteatcc but from bis creaticii^ And. 
unless we wish lo exalt the posver of God at the expense of his 
goodness, ought we not u> conclude that even to die great Ctestcr, 
almighiy as he is. a certain process may ta nettssary, a cenaui time (tf 
at lease whas appears to us as Uriel may be requisite, a order to form 
beings with those exalted qualiucs of mind which will fit ibem for his 
high purposes? 

A stale of trial seems lo imply a previously formed existence that 
docs not agree with die appaarance nf man in infancy and mdicases 
somcihing lihe susiucicii and warn of forcfcnowlcdge, inconsistent with 
those ideas which we wish to chansh of the Supreme Being I should be 
inclined, therefore, as I have huiicd bcftfc, to consider the world and 
this life as the mi^y process of God, not for the inal. but for the 
creaiicn and famatson of nund, a process necessary to awaken inert, 
chaotic mailer into quriu to sublutiaie the dust of the canh mto soul, to 
elicit ar ethereal spark from the clod of day And In this view of the 
subject, the various unpcessiciu and excitements which man receives 
through life may be considered as the formAg band of his Createe, 
acting by general laws, and awakening his sluggish existence, by ibe 
animatAg touches of the DivAUy. Ato a capeciiy of superior 
enjoyment Hie original sin of man is ibe torpci and corruption of the 
chaotic matter in whidi he may to said tote born 

Pim (aiMeC IxJ Joha^ic lab Paul sClur^YiM i 

T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 4170S I 


ti CDuJd aiiswtr eo gocd pauposc lo enter into the quceiion \*ticTher 
nuodte a diMinct subatafice from maner, cr cnJya Anar form of it llw 
qua&uon la, partap«, afiei aU, a queiioo maeJy of «v(da Mind la as 
CBantiall; mind. Mictbo formed from manar er aciy odur substance 
W« kfiou from oxpcricnce that souJ acid body are mosi lotimatel; 
UAjied, and every apfcarance seems to indicate ihai they grow fron 
loftocy together It would be a ^uppoutioo attended with very litiJe 
probability to believe ihai a complete and full formed sprit enisled in 
every lo^ot, but ibat it was clogged aod impeded in ii< OMrauons 
dumg the firsi twenty years of life by the svealineef. or hebetude, of the 
organs in wbieh it was enclosed As we shall all be disposed to agree 
tbat God IS the creator of mind as well as of body, and as they both 
seem to be formieg and unfolding ibemselves at the same time, it 
cannot appear inconsistent cither wiib rcasoo or revelaiion. if it appear 
to be eonsisteni with pbenonena of nature, to suppeise that God is 
ccnstanily occupied id forinuig mind out of maitcr and thai tbe various 
imprcsiions that mao receives through life is the process for that 
purpM The employment is surely worthy of the highest aiuibutes of 
tbe Deity. 

Ihis view of the stale of mao en earth will oot aem to be 
unarteoded wiib peobability, if. judguig from the little eiperieoct we 
have of the oatiue of mied. it shall appear upon investigation that the 
phenomena arotiod us. and the various events of humaci life, seem 
peculiarly calculated lo premae this great eod. aod especially if, upon 
tbis sifposiiion. we can account, eveo lo our own narrow 
unde rsi an dogs, for many of those roughnesses and inequalities m life 
which querulous man too frequenOy makes the subject of bu complaint 
agaiost tbe Cod of nature 

Ihc fiia greai awakesKrs of the miod seem lo be the wants of the 
body. (It was my inietiiton lo have entered at some length into this 
subject as a kmd of second part to the Essay A long loterrupticn. from 
pamcular business, baa obliged me to lay aside this lotcniion, at least 
fer the present I shall now, iherefise, cnly give a sketch of a few of the 
loading circumstances that appear to me to favour Ihe geoetal 
suppositicn that I have advaoc^ ) They are the first stimulants that 
rouse tbe Cnui of infant man into seotient activity, and such seems to 
be ibe sluggiihness of criginal matter that unless by a peculiar course 
of excitcmeeis oibct warns, equally powerful, are geoerated, these 
siimulaots seem, even afterwards, to te oecessary lo contmue that 
activity which they Am awahsned The savage would slumber for ever 
under his tree unless he suere roused from his terpor by the cravings of 
hisiger or the piochuigs of cold, and the exeruoos tbat he makes to 
avoid these evils, by prccuriog feed, aod buildiog himself a covering. 


rsvfuUiiontof (luiitfUCenniOi 

Alt EifOv riH F‘upt'laiinn 


are die cierciMf sriitdt fonn and keep jn moiiofi bia faculiies. v^tudi 
0lber^*i4e uoold aink into liaUeu inacuvuy. Ptem aO iboi experieiKe 
haa ougin ua coectmiog dw structare of the buman miAd, if dioae 
aumulaou lo eienion vbidi ariac ftem the wania of the tody o/at 
removed from die maaa of manlund, i«e have much more reaaon to 
(biok (bai dtcy svould be sunk to the level of btiitea. from a deficieocy 
of cxdtemefiis, dtao that ihey would be taiaed (o ibe rank of 
pluloaopheta by the poaaeaaion of kuurc In dioae couioiea where 
nature la die most tedundaot in spontaneout produce dw inhabjtants 
will not be foued the n>osi remarkable for acuienass of inieUect 
Nec«s&iiy has been witb greai nudi called the motber of invenuon 
Some of the oobleat exeniooa of Ihe humao miod have been set lo 
motion by tbe necessity of satisfying ibe wants of tbe body Vfom baa 
net mfrequenily given wings to dw imaginouoo of iha poet, poioied the 
flowing periods of tbe hiaionan, and added acuteness to the rasearebea 
of dK philosopber, and though dtere are undoubtedly many minds oi 
preaeM so far improved by tbe various exeitemcrua of knowledge or of 
social syTnpsihy, thai they would on rebpne uiio hnlasstesa if their 
bodily siimulanta svere removed, yet it can scarcely bo doubted tbat 
tbese stimulaeis could not be withAawn from the mass of mankuid 
wiihoui producing a geoeral and fatal lorpor, deatnicuve of all tbe 
germs of fuiute utiprovemeni 

Locke, if I recoUeet, says that the endeavour lo avoid pain rather 
tban tbe pursun of pleasure is the great stimulus to action in life and 
tbat A lookAg 10 any particular pleasure, we sbaO oot be roused into 
action A order to cbtoui iL till the coniemplatioo of it has ctmooued so 
loog as to amouet to a scnsaiicA of poA or uneasuicss uoder tbe 
abixoct of It To avoid evil and lo pissue good seem lo be the great 
duty and btiaioeas nf man. and tbis world appears to be peculiarly 
calculated to aSerd opporuuuiy of the most unremined exenicsi of this 
kiod. and it is by this exerticsi, by tbeae siimulanta, that mind la formed 
tf Locke's idea be just, and there la great reaaon lo tbink that it is. evil 
seems to be necessary to creaie nerticn, and excrucsi seems evideetly 
necessary to create miod. 

Ihe nectsaiiy of food for the support of life gives rise, prchably, to 
a greater <|ii 80 ury of exertion than any other want, bodily u mental 
Ihe Supreme Being has crdained that the eanb shaJ not produce gcod 
ici great qtiaotuica till much preparaiory labour and ingenuity baa been 
cxereised up«A us surface. There is oo eoocaivable eonneeiion to our 
cemprehensiMS, betweeo the seed and the plant or tree tbat rises &cm 
II. Ihe Supreme Creator might, uodoubiedly, raise up plants of all 
kioda, for tbe use of bis creatures, without the aaaistaoct of those hole 
bits of metier, which sve call seed, or eveo wsthout the assisting labour 

Pira laiMee (act JoAii^ la Si haul i CkirA Ywd. Laotija. 

T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 4170S I 


and aiuottcA of mao Hk pfooeues of plougJting acid clcarjeg the 
ground, of coUcctingaedaoMCig «etdk an not aonly lot ihc aafistance 
of God in hi< cnauoo, bot are made previously oeceaaary to tbe 
cniojnicni ot ihc bleaaiega of life, in order u> rouse mas into action, 
and fism hia nuodioreaaoo 

To fumjsb (be inosi unreinHicd ncuementf of ibit kind, aod to 
urge naci to fwther ihe graciouf derigni; of Providence by the {UU 
culuvaiioo of (be eanh, n bas been ordained dial populauoo should 
ificreaae much fasier dian food Ihis general lav* (as it has appeared in 
(be ferener pans of dus Eesayi uodoubtedly predueea much penial evil, 
bill a Uitlc lefleciion may, pertaps, satisfy us. that it produces a great 
overbalance of goed Sireng eacKenunts (eesit necessary to create 
cxemoo, and (o duett dus eieriioe, and form the reasonuig Acuity, u 
seenv absolutely oecessary, that the Supnmc Beiog should act always 
according lo general laws. The coestaocy of ibe bws of natise, or Ihe 
certainty wiib which we may expen ibe same rffects from (be same 
causes, is the fdundaiion of die faculty of reason ff in ibe crdioaiy 
ccurse of ihuigs, the fidget of God were Crc4uendy visible, cr to speak 
more ctfreedy, if Gcd were frei^uently to change his purpose (fu Ihe 
finger of Gcd is, mdeed, visible a every blade of grass ihai we sec), a 
general and faial icrpor of the human faculties would probably eosue: 
eveo Ibe bodily wants of mankind svould cease to siimulaie them to 
(xemoo, cculd theynoi rcasooaUyeipcct that if iheir efforts were well 
direcied they would be ctosvned with success The constancy of the 
laws of nature is die fouddauoe of the lodusiry and foresight of the 
husbandman, ibe indefaiigable uigenuity of the artificer, ibe sblfUl 
researches of ibe physician and anatcsiust, and the watchful observation 
and patisnt intestigaiion of the natural philosopher. To dus coostancy 
we owe all the greatest and noblest efforts of leiellect To this 
ccrutancy we owe tbe immcrtal mmd of a NesMon 

As the reasons, therefore, ftf the coostancy of ihc laws of natise 
seem, even to our undersiandiogs. obvious and scikiog, if we reiuni to 
(be prutciple of population and ccnsider man as he really is. insti, 
sluggish, and averse from labour, inlass compelled by neccssiiy (aod it 
I* surely ihc height of folly lo talk of man, acctfdieg to our crude 
bcicies of whai he might be>. we may pronomce wiib cenaioty that (be 
world would net have been peopled, but fer ihe supsrtcrity of the 
power of populsuoo to ibe mcaes of subsisteece Strong and coostaeily 
operative as this somulus is cn man to urge him lo the cultivation of tbe 
earth, if we siill see that ctiUivaiino proceeds very slowly, we may 
&irly conclude ibai a less siicnulus svould have been insufficteoL Even 
under die operanen of this consiani excitement, savages will inhabit 
coiAiJies of Ihc greatest oaiural fertibty for a long pened before (bey 

pt-srvsQiu*ytOT»aLV pneLSiHiwS 

rsviuUi ton toft loiiwUCensio, 

Alt EifOv riH F‘upt'laiinn 


bcukc iDsiudvB lo pa^uragc or o^uulturt. Had p«)f)uJaiioe and lood 
ificreewd a (be same (auo. it la pmiuble ibM man migln never have 
emerged ficen ibe savage Mate Bui wpfoeAg the cartb once well 
pecpled, an Alaxandcr. a J(Jiu< Caeaar, a Tacnbeilane, cr a Uoedy 
levolifiion might imeovetably dun the human race, and dcfcai the great 
da&jgns of tbe Creator Hw ravages of a contagicais disorder would be 
&lt for ages: and an canb^uakc might mpeople a regicn for eve* Ihe 
pruKiple. accoedmg (o whicb populaison inc(ea«ee, prevents the vices 
of maobnd. or (be accidents of naiure, (be parual evils arisieg fresit 
general laws, from obstructing the liigh purpcise of the creatioo. li keeps 
(be inhabitants cif the earth always fully up to die level of ihe means of 
subsistence! aod h consianily acting upon nun at a powerful sunudus. 
urging him to the furdie cultivation of the ejrih, and to oiaWe it. 
ccASMuently. to suppon a more extended population. But n is 
impossible (hat ibis law can operate, and produce the effects apparently 
loiendcd by the Supreme Beiog, wnhM occasioning partial evil. 
Unless the principle of pcpulation were to be altered actcrdieg to the 
circumstances of each separate country (wtudi would not only be 
ccnirary to our universal etperieocc. wtih regard to tbe laws of nature, 
but would contradict evee our osvn reasen. which sees tbe absoluie 
nccessiiy of gesKral laws for the formation of inielleci). ii is evident 
(bat the same pnnciple wbich. secooded by industry, will pecplc a 
fertile regicn a a few yaars must ptcduce distress m couotries lhai have 
beee Icng inhabiied 

h seems, however, every way probable that even the 
aefcnowiedged difficulties occastened by the law of population (end 
laiber to promote than impede ihe general purpose of Providence Ihcy 
excite uenversal exertion and conuitvte to that infinite variAy of 
siiuations. and consequently of impressions, which seems upon the 
whole ^vourable to the growth of mind It is probable, that tco great u 
(00 linlc eiciiement extreme poverty, or too great nches may be alike 
unfavourable in this respect Ihe middle regions of society seem lo be 
best Milled to inidlecluaJ unprovemeei. bui it is consary loihe analogy 
of all nature to expect that the whole of society cud be a middle region 
Ihe temperate zones of the earth seem to te the most favourable to Ihe 
mental and corptfal energies of nun. but all cannet be tempetare zones 
A world, warmed and enlightened but by one sun. must fiom the laws 
of marter have some parts chJIed by perpetual frosts and others 
scdchcd by perpetual heats. Every piece of maticr lying cn a sivface 
musi have an upper and an under side, all the particles cannot be in the 
middle. Ihe mosi valuable pans of ae oak. lo a timbet mercliani. are 
net either (be roots or the braeches. bui these are absoluiely necessary 
to the existence of the middle pen. or siero, whidt is the cbgeci in 

Pim laiMeO Ixl la&i Paul sfkur^YiM i 


T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 4170S I 

tnufesi Hk dftibct mcfdtam could not poBjb9y<ipect to molic ao oaX 
£ro« Mthout rooi« or Danchn, but if Itc could find out a mcak of 
culuvaiioo wbicb UASuld csuw more of ihc subataiice lo ^ (o eum. and 
)eu to root and brancl). he would be rigbi lo eien boiuelf lo t«Agifi£ 
such a ayetetn intogettctaJ use 

tn Ihe aanx manficr, though we cawwi poBjbly cxpeci lo exclude 
rubes and poveny Item society, yai if we could Rnd oui a tnode of 
govsenmetii by sahtch ihc numbera lo die exneme regions would be 
lessened aod ibe numbeta lO (be middle regions iscteuaed. ii would be 
(indoubaedly our duly lo adopt u. It la noi. hosuever, unprchable tba( as 
ici the oaX. du roots and branches could not tc dmurushed very greaily 
wiihoui sueaXeeiog (be vigtfoua circulatun of ibe sap inihe rum. so in 
society tbe exireme pana could not be diminiabed beyond a certain 
degree Mihoui leueeuog ihai anunated exertion ihrougboui ibe nudde 
pana. whub la ibe very cause ihai dtcy are ihe mosi favourable to ihe 
gtosvih of intelled. If no man could hope to rue cr fear lo ^IL in 
society, if loduairy did noi brieg wnh ii ica reward arvl idleoess its 
paifiisbmeni, ibe middle pans would noi cttiaicily be whai dtcy now are 
In reasoniog up«n Ihis aubjeci, it la evident dial we oughi to consider 
chiefly Ibe maas of manbnd aod noi lodividual innancos 'Ilurc are 
(indoubiedly many minds, and there ought lo tc mafiy, according lo ihe 
chancea out of ao great a mass, ihai, having beeo vivified early by a 
peculiar course of excitements, sucaild oot need ihe constant actun of 
narrow motives to cooiinuc them a activity But if we were lo review 
(be various uaeftJ discoveries, die valuable wruinga, and oaber laudable 
exemooa of macibnd. I believe we should find diet more were to be 
artnbvud to the earrow motives (bat operate upon ihe many (ban to ihe 
appareotly mve enlarged motives ibat operate upon (be few 

Leisure is, waihout doubt, highly valuable lo man, bui tabng mao 
as he IS, (be probcbiliiy seems to be ibat le the greater number of 
ifisiancea it wiO produce evil rather thao good. It has beto net 
loftepuently remarked diji lalenis are more commoo among younger 
brethers thao among elder brothers, bui it cao aeareely be imagined diat 
younger broUiers arc. upon an average, bom waih a neater original 
susceptibility of pans liie diSereece, if there really la aoy observable 
difference, can only arise from iheir different siiuauona Exertion and 
activity are in general absoluicly necessary in one ease and arc only 
opiional A the odier. 

Hiai Ihe difnculiiea of lift contribuie lo generate laletits, every 
day's experience must convAce us Tbe axeniona ihai men find it 
necessary to make, in order to support diemselvea or familKS. 
ffeqitfnily awaken faculties diai migbi ctherwase bavc lam for ever 
dormani and n has been commonly remarfced thai new and 

eLiCTSCdf &CHrt.xllLV pllBltSHIWS 

CouiuUiiontofC laiitfUCsnsio. 

Ajt Essay nti F‘upti!aiinn 


exiraordmary siiaa(ion« gsfiMaUy ctastc miodi sdnuatt lo frapfdc 
wjihihe djfficuliiea io «l)tcb (he; are involved 

Pirp fwyitcC (acl Jahsi^A la Paul i CkurA'YiM i 


The ^ lift nutaeiy u> the keon • The 

eeefteei^/ toe^\ muptubt efien oroiiiet ehoeeetefz ef a hifhez 
ctdf tftan tie (»}eee ptBiaztvt ef leifiit • itontl ^3 jviiteA'v 
aetez^rt (e (iV geoiimi* ef eufieei ezeetifttt • E se ^t a eieaiz feem 
tMetleciiail »«i(f kept 19 fr> the infi/iite 1 a/7en nataet, 

and the eibuunn thot 'nretrez ntet^^ucai znt/eea > 7 Hf 
3tffScdiia "a rentaiKV ta beaeeata)te3jtrrtipce'fiitfi*ttteipte • The 
degree eif n^dtace •ttach the unpuieez ceeaain, praiot^, Oezt zaiieO 
M7 ihe nupfoitmieiiB of the hirm^ faeuVez, and tie tecea/ 
am^iaranwi of maakjad • TTif dea tha aaed tz efeeneet 9 v 
anetieai^a rewt le eeteuial fat the euzleaee of nctaeal and mcrai 

Tke $n»uws AND DisTUss£& OB LIFC fom jfiotbcr cb 9 « of 
exciumfnti, wbidi smid 10 be necsMary, by a peculiar naio of 
inipreisiona, 10 softeo and huinaciiie die hcan. in avaJiat social 
synpadiy, to generate aJ) (be Oiriieiafi virniee, and 10 afford ecope (u 
(be ample exertion (tf benevolence. The general tendency of an ufiifoem 
coutse of proepetMy is rather 10 degrade ihao exah (be character Ihe 
heart (bat hat never biosvn torrow uself will seldon t< fediogly alive 
(oihe pain< and plearures, the Aanie aod wiahea, of iie fellosv teioge. h 
Mill scldcen be overflowing wi(b that svamKb of Motherly love, dioae 
kiod and amiable affecdonr, wbidi digoify (he human charxter even 
mote ihao the possession of ibe higbest talents Taicnta, indeed, though 
(AtaiUcdly a very pronmeet and fine feature of mirtd, can by no 
meacia be ccnaidercd aa consunmog the whole of i( Tbcre are many 
mioda which have nee been exposed 10 those excitertienu that usually 
fctni lalents, (bat have yet beeo vivified to a high degree by (be 
excitements of social sympathy. In every raok of life, in the lowest as 
ficquenily it in the highest diaracicrs are to be found ovetfiowiog 
wiih the milk: (tf human k:mdnet<. CnaUimg love towards Gcd and man. 
and, though without those peculiar powers of mind called taletiis. 
evidently boldmg a higher rank: 10 die scale of beings ihaci many who 
possess them. Evangelical diarity, meekness, piety, and all (hat class of 


Alt EifOv riH F‘uptilaiinn 

vinws djsiittguidicd paniciJjfSy b; the ttdme of CtuiMan vinues do 
Ttc* scrm nccessanl; lo include abiliae: yei a soul possessed of iltese 
atniabk qualnies, a soul asi'skesicd aod vivified by these deligluiUJ 
synipaduu, seems to hold a nearet conmerce wiifi ihe sfcies iban mere 
aeuieiKss of lotellets 

Hw greaiesi (alenis have teen EreqiKnily misapplied and have 
produced evil proponicnate lo the cxunt of (heir powers BnUi reason 
and revclaucn seem to assure us ihai such minds sviU be eoodesnncd to 
eternal death, but while esi eanb. these vieious instrumetiis perfeemed 
(beir pan lo ihe great mass of impeessions, b; tbe disgun and 
aCAtfreoct which ibeyeicuad li seems highly probable diat moral evil 
IS absoluiely necessary to the preductien of mtfal escelkoce A being 
with only ^lod placed a view may tc justly said to be imMlIed by a 
Uiod netessiiy. llie pursuit of good lo this case can t* no indcation of 
virtuous prcpeosiues k migtu be Bid. perhaps, that infmue Wisdoit 
cannot want such an indication as ourwa^ acuen. bui would forcLnow 
wiih certainly whether the being would choose good or evil lliis might 
be a plausible argument against a state of trial, but will not hold against 
(be suppouuon that mind in this wceld is in a state of fbrmaiicn Upon 
(bis idea, (he being that has seen mcral evil and has fdi disapprobstum 
and disguK a( ii is esseniiaJly different from flic being iha( has seen 
only geed They are pscees of clay (hat have received distina 
impressions' they must, itiercftfe, nrtasBriJybe in different shapes, ce. 
even if we allow (bem both lo have the same lovHy form of virtue. M 
musi be acknowledged dial one has undergone (be further process, 
necaiaory (o give fimmess and durabiliiy to its substance, ahilc the 
other IS still espnsed to injury, and Uable lo be br^ico by every 
accidental unpidse. An ardent love and aifeiuration of virtue seems to 
imply (he existence of sanethmg oppdsiic to it and it seems highly 
probable (tut the same bcau(y of form and substance, ibe same 
pcrfeeiion of ebatacter, could not be generated without (he unprcssions 
of disapprobeuon whidi arise from (be spectacle (tf ititfal evil. 

^Micn the mind has been awakened inio acuviiy by the pasaioos, 
and the wants of the body. intelJeetual wants arise, and (be desire of 
knowledge, and the impaiience under ignorance, ftfm a new and 
important class of excitemeius Every pan (tf nature seems peculiarly 
calculated lo {urnuh stimulants to mental exertion of (bis Und. and to 
offer Aexbaustibic food fee (he mosi unremirted inquiry Our mortal 
Bard soys of Geepatra' 

Custom cannot sialc 

Her infnite variety. Tbe expression, when appled to any one 
object, may b« considered as a pcctical ampliAcauoo, bui u is 
accurately true wtusi applied to nature. InfAUe varieiy seems, indeed. 

Plr«i (aiMeC Ixl Jotvi^ laS) haul sCkir^Ywd. Laotij*. 


T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 4170S I 

her dtarscini&iic feauire. The ihai are bere acid diee 
blended a die pjctwe give spirn. life, and peonunenee to he cxutttrani 
besuiiea. and diow rougboeue and AequaJjbe*. tho« inferior parts 
(bat fuppcri Ihe « 4 >erior. though they aonwtimer offend the faaiidiois 
miaoscopK eye of shori'Sighied nun, coninbtnc (o the aynunesy, 
grace, and ^ir proporticA ol the «hole 

Hw ioficiite vanay of the fornv and cficraiions of nature, 

(ending immediaidy to awaken aod imfMovc the moul by ibe variety oi 
inipreraions (hot u ereaies, opens cehcr ferule rourcer (tf improveniew 
by offanog <o Mde and exteeuive a field for inveatigaiion aod research 
Uniicnn, undiversified pcrfecticn could on poa<e<« the fame 
awakening powers ^Mieo we endeavour iben to coniemplatc (be 
system of (ha mivarse, tvben sue ihink of (he stars as the suns of other 
systems scaucred ihrougboui rnfAUe space, suben we reflaci iha( we do 
nee probably see a nnllioelh part of ihoae teigbt ortis iba( arc beaming 
light and life lo unnunibeted suotlds, when our mnda, unable (o grasp 
Ibe jnnieasurable coectpticn, sink, lost aod confouided. m aAtnration 
at (he nughiy ineompreheesible poster of (he Creates, let us no( 
qucrtdoosly complain that all climates are not eqiully geeial, that 
perpetual spring does not reign ihrooghoin the year, that it Cod's 
creaiures do on possess tbe same advantages, thas clouds and tempests 
sometimes darken the natisal world and vice and misery tbe ttioral 
world, and that all the works of the eteaiioo are ncc fmtied with equal 
perfeeiion Boih reason and experience soeni to indicate lo us that (he 
lofimie variety of naiure (and variety cannot eiist waihoui icifcnor 
pans, or apparent blemishes) is admirably adapsed lo funber the high 
purpose of the cteaoon and to produce the greaiesi possible quaenity of 

Hw obseutMy that lovolves all metaphysieal subjeeis appears to 
me. in the same manner, petuliariy calculated lo adJ to ibai class of 
cxciteroents which ante ftom the (hirst of knowledge It is probable 
tbai man. while cn earth, sull oevar be able to atiam complete 
saiis&ctioo on these sulyecis; bui this is by no loeaes a reaaoo that he 
should noi engage lO ibem. The darkness ihai sunounds these 
loierestmg topics of human curiosity may be inicnded to furnish 
endless motives to intelleciual activity aod exenicn Tbe ccnsiam effort 
to dispel this darkness, even if it fad of success, invigcraies and 
improves the ihuikieg Acuity If the subfacts of hunun inquiry were 
once exhausted, mind suould probably stagnate, but the infinitely 
diversified forms ami cperaiions of naiure. logahcr wuh the endless 
food for spetulaticsi which meiaphysical subjects offer, prevent ibe 
possibility that such a period should evar arnve 


FsvaiUiiontofC luiitfUCensio. 

Ajt Eifov nn F‘upttlannn 


h 11 by 00 mans otw of (be «ims( uyingt of Solomon Uui '(here 
It AO oew ibittg iBwkr ihe mio.' On (he cooirvy, it J9 peobaUe (bai (*efe 
(be pr<««n( system lo ciinijn(tf tot iniJIiofx of yats, cooiinuaJ additiou 
would be mokA£ lo ihc ine«< of hunun knowledge, and yei. perhaps, n 
may M a mana of doubt wheUict what may be called the oapociiy of 
nued tc lo aoy marted and decided manner mcrcasiog. A Socrates, a 
Plaio. or an Arjaiotle.liosuever cooCtssedly inferior in Lciowledfc lo (he 
philoaophctf oi tbe pteaeoi day, do not apKat lo have been much 
below them lo Atellectual capacity Intellect rises from a speck, 
ccAtifiuee ici vifour only fer acettain period, and will not petbapsadmit 
while CA earth of above a certain number of impressions. 'These 
impressions may, mdeed, to infiniiely modified, aod from these various 
modificatiers, added protnUy to a difference in die suscepiibilKy of 
(be original germs, arise the endless diversity of character ihai we sec in 
(be world; but reason and esperienct seem both to assure us (hat (he 
capacity of individual minds docs not locrewa in proportion to the mass 
of existing knowledge (It is ptehable (hat no two grains of wheat ate 
exactly alike Soil undoubicdly makes (be pnncipel difference in (he 
blades ihai spring up, but prob^y noi all It seems nansal (o suppose 
some stfi of difference in the original germs (hai are afterwards 
awakened inio thought and (be esraerdnary difference of 
susceptibility in very young children seems to confirm the supposiiton t 
' 1 ^ finesi minds seem to tc formed rather by efftfts at otigiAal 
(binbng, by endeavours to form new combinations, aivl to discover 
new imibs, (ban by passively receiving (he unpressioru of other men's 
ideas. Could we suppose the penod arrived, when (here was noi fwther 
hepe of fuiuje discoveries, and the cnly employment of mind was to 
acquire prc^sisung knowledge, witboui any efions lo form new and 
original eombinaticns, ihou^ the mass of human knowledge were a 
thousand times greater than it is at present yet it is evident (hat cne of 
(be noblest siimulants to mental eieruon would have ceased: the finest 
feature of iniellect would be losi: everyibing allied to genius would be 
at an end. and it appears lo te impossible, ihai, under such 
circumstances, any individuals could posseis the same intelleciual 
energies as were possesad by a Locke, a Newten, nr a Sbakespeare, or 
even by a Socrates, a Plato, an Arisiode or a Homer 

tf a rcvclaiion from heaven of whieb no persoo could fed (he 
smaJesi doubt were to dispel the mis(s thai now bang over 
metapbytical subjects, were to explam ihe nature and structure of mind, 
(be aJfi^oos and essences of all subsiances, the mode in which the 
Supreme Being operates in the works of the creation, and the whole 
plan and scheme of the Universe, such an accession of knowledge so 
obiauicd. instead of givuig additional vigour and activity to the human 

Pira (aiMeC toil JoAa^iv lad Paul sCkur^YiM i 


T>4aMA^ MaLTHUS 4170S I 

miod. sLViuJd in aJI probabjliiy und u> tcprcfs fuiore (xcntott and to 
dstnp (fie wtttgs of inulkd. 

For (fii< reason I fiave oevar eoosidercd ifie doubis and dii!icit](ie 
(fiat involve some pant of ifie «acred svriurtgf as any ardent agair )4 
(fieif divine original ITie Suprane Being nugfii, undoubtedly, have 
actompaoted his leveJaticsu to man fiy <oeh a eocttssion ol miiaclca, 
and of suefi a naiiire, ii would have produced universal overpowering 
ccnviction and have pui ao end at once lo all liesitaiicn aod discussion 
But weak as ourieaion is lo oemprefiend (fie plans of tfie great Cieaiot, 
II IS yet sufficienOy nrong to see (he most striking ofijeeiions to suefi a 
levdaticn hem the link we know of the sirucrure of the fiuman 
undersiandcig. sue must be convinced that an ovetpoweneg ccnviaion 
of this kiod, losteod of tending to tha improvement aod cncra] 
atnelicratioo of man, would act like ifie looch of a torpedo oo all 
iciidlectial eietuon and would abnosi put ao end to ihe existence of 
virtw If the scriptural detninciaiions of eietnal punishmecit were 
btcught lionte wiifi ifie same certamry to every man's mind as Out (fie 
night will follow ihe day. this one vast and gloomy idea would lake 
such full poasessicn of (he humao faculties as to leave no rocm fer any 
otfiereonetpiions, ifie extend actioot of men would be all oearly alike, 
virtuous conduct would be no indicaiicn of vmuous dispositKA, vice 
and virtue would te blended logethe in one common mass, aod though 
(fie all'Seeieg eye of Cod migfit distioguidi them they must oeccssarily 
make the same impressions en man. who can judge only &om extemd 
appearances. Unda suefi a dispeosotioo. u is difScult to cooccive how 
human bungs could t* formed to a dctestatitm of mccal evil, and a love 
and admuaiicA of God, and of moral excalleoct 

Our ideas of virtue and vict are not. perhaps, vary accurate and 
well-defined, but few, I thmk. would call an action really virtuous 
which was performed simply and solely from the dread of a vary great 
punisfimeni er die expcnaiioo of a very peat reward 'Hie fear of the 
Lord IS very justly said to te ihc begieenng of wisdom, but the end of 
wisdom is the love of the Lc«d and the admuaiicn of moral good 'Ihe 
denunuaiioos of future pueushmeot coniaioed in (fie senptures seem to 
be well cakulaicd to anesi the progrcis of tfie vicious and awakeo (fie 
anention of the careless, but we see from repeated expcritnce that they 
are not accompanied wiifi evidence of such a naiurc as to overpower 
(fie humao will and to make men lead virtuous lives wiifi vicious 
dispositions, merely from » dread of hereaAcr A genuine ^idu by 
which I mean a faith (fiat shews italf in it the virtues of a truly 
Chnsiiao life, may generally consideted as an indication of an 
atniafik and vinuous disposiiion, operated tipcn mere fiy love than by 
pure immixed fear 

ELiCTkCUf &eH<e.xflLV plieLCSHIWS 

CoviuUdontofC luiitfUCensio. 

Alt Eisav riH F‘uptilaiinn 


«v rcflm 00 the lempuiiau lo «.hieb ntdii tnusi oece?«aril; 
be exposed lo ihi& world, from (fie suuciise of his ftame, and ihe 
ofwjijoo ctl the laws of eante, and die eoAseQuem moral cettaitn; dial 
many vessels mII eonte oifi of (fits nugfiiy creative hiroace id wron£ 
shapes, it is perfetiJy icnpossiUe to conetivc ihai any of these creatures 
of Cod's fiand cao be ctAdemned to euseal suffering Could sve cetce 
admu such an idea, u our natural eoncepiiciis of gc«etoes< and justice 
would be completely ovctihrown, aod we could oo Iceiger look up to 
God as a merciful and righteous Being Bui ifie doctrine of life aod 
Mortality wfiich was btou^t lo Ughi by the gospel, die docirioe (hat 
(fie end of ngfiieousoess is everlasting life, but (fiat the wages of sin ate 
dcaifi, IS in every respect jusi and merciful, and wtftfiy of the great 
Creaior Nothing can appear mere conscnani lo our reasen than (fiat 
(fiosc beings uhich come out of die creative process of (he world in 
lovely aod brauiiful foeens sliotJd t* crow&ed with immortality, wtule 
(fioae wtiieh come oui misshapen, those whose minds are ooi suued lo a 
purer and fi^ipiet siatc of existence, sfiould pandi and be cendemoed 
(0 mix again with (fieir otigjnal day. Eternal coodemnaiion of (fiis kind 
may be ccnsidcrcd as a species of eternal puouhment, aod ii is net 
wonderful that i( sfiould be represented, sometimes, under images of 
suffering But life and death, salvauon and destruction, are mere 
fieqitf nily opposed to each other in (fie New Testamcoi ihao happiness 
and misery llie Supreme Being would appear lo us ui a very diReren( 
view if we were to consider him as pursuing die creatises that had 
offended him with eiemal hate aod tortise, lostead of merely 
ccAdcmoing to dicir ongmal inscosibiliiy those beings diat by the 
opcraiioo of general laws, had na been formed wuh qualuies suited to 
a piser state of happioess. 

Life IS. generally speaking, a blessiog independent of a future .state 
h IS a gift which the vicious would doi always be ready to (hrow away, 
eveo if (bey had oo fear of deatfi. Ihe partial poio. ihereftfe. that is 
loflictcd by die supreme Creator, wtule he is formog numtcrlcss 
bungs (o a capacity of (he highest eojoyinenis, is but as the dual of the 
balaoct lo comparison of the happioess that is ccmmueicated, and we 
have every reasen to thuik that there is oo more evil in the world than 
whai IS absolutely oacessary as cne of the logredietiis in the mighty 

Ihe striLog netessuy of general laws fer the formaiioo of intelletr 
will not ui any reapcci tc contradicted by ooe or iwo exceptions, and 
(fiesc evidently not iniendid for pamal purposes, tut calculated to 
opaate tipcn a greai pan of mankind, and througfi maoy ages. Upon the 
idea that I have given of ifie formation of miod. ifie lofiingemcei of the 
general law of nature, by a divioe revelation, will appear in tbe li^t of 

Plr«i |aiMe« Ixl Jolvi^ la Si haul i CkirA Ywd. Lootija. 

T> 4 aMA^ MaLTHUS 4170 S I 


(be immediaie band o4 Gcd miiittg ne« jogredirtits jo itw nsghiymass. 
Hjited 10 die parucular Mate c4 die prccn«, and calculated to gjve rise 
(0 a net* and posuerfjl iran (tf imoresaioot, leoding lo ponfy, eult, aivl 
improve die Itmnan nuod Hk miraclca dut acecenpanicd tlteae 
(rveJaticiii; when they had cnce ecated ibe aoeeMioo o4 maokirtd. and 
(rodecd n a tnaitrr of mosi Ateraaung diecuaftai, wbedier the dccirioe 
iva« ftom Cod or man, had p^rFcrmed their part had aoawcrrd (he 
purpose of (be Creator and iheac communicaiiciu o4 the divine will 
were aAerwatda left to malia thnr way by ihnr own intrinajc 
excellence: aod. by opeiaiirtg ix moral motives, gr^iially lo influence 
and improve, and not to overpower and stagnate dw ^ulim o4 man 

h would be, undoubtedly, prnumptuoua to say (hat ihe Supreme 
BeiDg couJd DO! possibly have effected bis purpose to any other way 
(ban that wtudi he hat chosen, teu as the levelabosi ol die dvine wiU 
which we possess is anended with scene doubts and diflieuliies, aod as 
our leascn potnis out to us ibe sirongen objections to a revelation 
which would force immediate, implicit universal belief, we have surely 
just cause to thiok that these doubts and difSculuas are no argument 
agaiost the dvine oeigin of the scriptures, and ibai (be species cif 
evidence which (bey possess is best suited to the improvement of the 
human beulues aod (be mcral amcUotancn of maoLind 

Ihe idea ibai the impscssKAs and eieiiemenis of this world are (be 
lostniments with svblch the Supreme Being forms matter mto mind, and 
(bat (be necaasiiy of consiaoi excriicn to avoid evil aod to pursue good 
II the principal spring of these imptessicsu and eicitementt seems to 
smooth many of the difficulties that occur in a contcmplatioo of human 
life, and appears to me to give a satis&ctory reasen {or the existence of 
natural and moral evil, and, consequently, fer that part of both, and it 
certamly is not a very small part which arises from (be principle of 
populatioo. But though, upoo (bis supposition, H setms highly 
improbable that evil should ever be removed from (be world, yet i( is 
evident ibai ibis imfMession would niM anssver the appareet purpose of 
(be Crcaior, it would not act so powerfully as an excitemeoi to exertion, 
if (be quaniiiy of u did oot dimieush or lectease with the activity ce (he 
lodolcnce of maci The coounual variaiicns in the weight aewl in (he 
disribuucA of this pecsoiie keep alive a cceisiant npectauon of 
(browing it off 

Hope spemgs etetcial in ihc Humaci tecart 

Man never is, t*u always lo be blesi. 

Evil exists in (be world noi to create despair but activity. We are 
nee paiiesitly lo submit lo it, but to eiert oursdves to avoid it b is nee 
only (he leuerest bui (be duty of every lodividual to use his utmost 
efforts to remove evil fiom himsdf and bom as large a circle as be can 


FOoadiiionvort IsiiuilCenaio, 

Ajt Essay nti F‘upti!imnn 


jofluettce, sod (he more be nerase himsslf io ihis duty, the mere 
wisely he directs his cflons, and die more suetvssful ibse effons are, 
(be mere he will probably improve and exsU Ins own mind sod (be 
more completely d^ he appear (o fulfil (be will of hia Ciestor 

Flip fwyitcc (acl is haul i fkurA'YiM i 




of Cloutf il Oerkiidfi